HYDERABAD: Universal immunisation and public health experts believe that the targeted vaccination drive for ‘high risk-high exposure’ groups will yield good results in the next few months in the state by cutting down the rate of transmission in super-spreader events.
The triaging of vaccination beneficiaries will not only help those who are at most risk, but also the people who they can potentially infect.
“Initially, when the vaccination rollout had just begun, we saw that health workers were given priority, so that they and their contacts are protected against the virus. Then, people above 45 years of age were prioritised, considering they might have comorbidities.
However, after the 45+ group, the triaging of beneficiaries stopped. The government’s selection of certain groups based on their occupation is a good plan,” said Dr Srikrishna RSV, secretary-general, Indian Academy of Pediatrics, twin cities branch.
He explained that the workers selected for the drive were high-point contacts interacting with large number of people, which makes them vulnerable, and at the same time spreaders in their families and residential communities. “A vaccination drive for these working groups will ensure that they and their families/communities are not at high risk,” he added.
Other experts say that once the government completes the task of vaccinating ‘super-spreaders’ in the GHMC area, they must employ a more tailor-made approach in the districts, where district-specific high-exposure groups are identified and vaccinated. “Every district will have its own super-spreader event and the aim must be to vaccinate those individuals who are likely to be infected and spread the infection.
The focus must also be on vaccinating those in the border districts to ensure that there is a line of defence,” said Dr Subodh Kandumuthan, director, Centre for Health Care Management at ASCI.This triaging of priority groups, however, needs to be supported by good communication practices and by manpower enhancement. “The focus must be on making people aware about where they can get the vaccine from,” added Dr Srikrishna.
1.4 lakh super spreaders to get jab in three days
Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said that more than 1.4 lakh people in high risk groups across the districts would be administered vaccine for Covid-19 over the next three days. The drive began on Friday across the State. Thirty-two centres have been set up in GHMC area, which will operate for seven days, where around 30,000 people would be vaccinated daily.
Somesh Kumar visited the Red Rose Function Palace and inspected the vaccination centre where the high risk groups were being given the first dose. Street vendors, workers in pesticide shops and other kirana stores, who were given coupons, would be given the vaccine. Later, the CS visited the Somajiguda Press Club where the journalists were being vaccinated