New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA), which is the largest body of modern medicine doctors, has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open up vaccinations to all adults above 18.
In a letter addressed to the PM Tuesday, the association cited the second wave of Covid-19, which is sweeping across the country, as the reason to open up vaccines for all.
“In view of the rapid spread of the second wave of the disease, we suggest that the our vaccination strategy needs to be geared up with immediate effect on war foot (sic),” reads the letter.
The IMA has also made a string of requests including walk-in vaccination facilities that are free-of-cost and a “limited period continuous lock down” for “non-essential areas” like cinema halls, cultural events and sports.
“The IMA has been helping the government counter vaccine hesitancy since day one, and we are prepared to help in any way we can to increase vaccinations. Compared to other countries, our vaccination rate is very low. We have been anticipating a second wave for a long time, and that’s why we sent this letter out,” Dr Jayesh Lele, general secretary of the IMA, told ThePrint.
In the letter, IMA further argues, “Vaccination against COVID stands as a single evidence based resource for us to restrict the cases by raising the personal immune response and pave way for herd immunity to decrease the severity of the disease.”
Apart from including those above 18 in the vaccination drive, the IMA wants the government to allow private clinics to offer the vaccine and a district-level task-force to enforce and monitor the vaccination drive.
The letter also suggests that “vaccination certificate shall be made a mandatory certificate for entering in to public places and receive products under public distribution system”.
India has vaccinated a total of 8,31,10,926 people as of 6 April.
The country has been witnessing massive surges in cases since mid-March and recorded a new high when daily cases crossed 1 lakh on 4 April for the first time ever.
(Edited by Rachel John)