It could take up to six months before a sufficient number of people could be vaccinated to break the chain of coronavirus transmission and another six months before life could get close to the pre-Covid days, Professor Randeep Guleria, the chief of Delhi’s prestigious All-India Institute of Medical Sciences told NDTV today.
“I’m hopeful that in the next six months, we will have two things. A sufficient number of people who have got the infection and recovered and have some kind of immunity and people who will get the vaccine,” Professor Guleria told NDTV. Together, they should break the chain of transmission of the virus, he added.
The other aim — to reduce the mortality rate — will be achieved on its own when high-risk individuals get vaccinated.
“We are vaccinating the frontline workers, the healthcare workers — whoever has a higher chance of getting the infection and those who are above the age of 50 and those who have co-morbidities. That will itself take a number of months — four to six months at least,” he said.
The “rider” here, he said would be the availability of doses and how soon it can be rolled out to the population.
“We have 30 crore people and we have to give out 60 crore doses, since there are 2 doses to be given out. We need that many syringes and needles and we have to do it over a period of six months,” he said.
India is conducting the clinical trial of Covaxin, one of three coronavirus vaccine candidates being considered for emergency use authorisation. The interim findings of the Phase 1 trial has induced an immune response and registered no serious adverse events.
Since the pandemic hit India last December, the country has logged more than 99.3 lakh COVID-19 cases. More than 1.44 lakh patients have died.