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COVID-19: Vaccination of entire population may not be required, says Union Health Secretary

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday said India may not need to vaccinate the entire population of 1.3 billion if a critical mass of people are given the Covid vaccine shot.

Speaking to the media, Bhushan said that the government had never spoken about inoculating the entire population with COVID-19 vaccine and emphasised that only a critical mass of people would be administered the vaccine to break the transmission.

“I just want to make this clear that the govt has never spoken about vaccinating the entire country. It’s important that we discuss such scientific issues, based on factual information only,” Bhushan answered when questioned about vaccinating the entire country and the time taken to for completing the process. 

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“Vaccination would depend on the efficacy of the vaccine and our purpose is to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission. If we’re able to vaccinate critical mass of people and break virus transmission, then we may not have to vaccinate the entire population,” said ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava at the press conference.

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India currently has the world’s second-highest number of COVID-19 cases after the United States which has reported 9.46 million cases so far. 

Meanwhile, 31,118 new coronavirus cases and 482 deaths were reported in the country in the last 24 hours. This took the overall tally of COVID-19 cases in India to 94,62,809.

Currently, there are 4,35,603 active cases, whereas 88,89,585 patients have been cured and discharged so far. The recovery rate stands at 93.94 percent, and the fatality rate is 1.45 percent, according to the health ministry.

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