ICMR DG Dr. Balram Bhargava said that one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is 96.6 percent effective in preventing death, while two doses prevent death by 97.5 percent, adding that this protective effect is for all age groups.
Citing data collected between April 18, 2021, till August 15, Balram Bhargava said vaccination prevents deaths, adding that most deaths in the second wave of Covid-19 in April-May were recorded among the unvaccinated.
“This vaccine protective effect against death is there in all age groups, whether it be 60 and above, whether it be 45-59 and 18-44 years,” Dr. Balram Bhargava said while addressing a press conference on India’s Covid situation.
Dr. VK Paul, Niti Aayog member and head of Covid task force, said it’s clear that two doses show complete protection.
He added: “58% above 18 years given a single dose, it should be 100%. No one should be left behind. About 72 crore vaccine doses were given. Those left should get administered to develop herd immunity.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, who was also speaking at the press briefing, said that the pace of vaccination and coverage is rapidly increasing. “The average per-day dose administered has increased from 20 lakh in May to 78 lakh in September. This number is expected to climb even higher”.
“We have administered more vaccines in the first seven days of September than in 30 days of May. Eighty-six lakh doses have been administered in the last 24 hours. We should increase the pace of vaccination before festivals. States and centers should work to vaccinate vulnerable populations,” Rajesh Bhushan added.
Kerala reported 68.59% of India’s total Covid cases last week
The government said 35 districts in the country are still reporting a weekly Covid positivity rate of over 10 percent while in 30 districts it is between five to 10 percent.
Sharing data about the number of Covid-19 cases reported from different parts of the country, the government said 68.59 percent of the total infection reported in the country last week was from Kerala.
About the vaccination drive, the government said in Sikkim, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli, Himachal Pradesh all people above 18 years got at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
About resuming physical classes in schools, Dr. VK Paul said no scientific body of evidence suggests that vaccination of children should be a condition for reopening schools.
However, vaccination of teachers, school employees, and parents is desirable, he said.