Indian Medical Association urges PM Modi to start vaccinating citizens above 18 years

The IMA has suggested that private sector family clinics should also be included actively in the vaccination drive along with private hospitals to ramp up vaccination drive

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The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to open up India’s vaccination drive to all citizens above the age of 18 years.

In the letter to PM Modi, which was released to the media on Tuesday, the IMA has suggested that since the second wave of the coronavirus disease was spreading fast, the country’s vaccination strategy needed to be tackled on a “war-footing”. And requested that citizens above 18 years of age should be permitted to receive Covid vaccination to curb the spread.

Currently, people above the age of 45 years are being vaccinated in the country.

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Pertinently, the IMA requested that all private family clinics should be given permission as well to vaccinate. This availability of the vaccine with family physicians would help to ramp up the vaccination drive. To stem the surge in COVID-19 cases, a vaccination certificate should be made mandatory to enter public places and to receive benefits under the public distribution system.

This measure along with a limited lockdown period especially in non-essential areas like cinema, cultural and religious events, sports, among others, would help to break the chain, the IMA advised. They also gave other key suggestions in their letter, which included zero tolerance against non-compliance of Covid appropriate behaviours, boosting infrastructure such as beds and oxygen availability, and to ensure frontline health workers have adequate protective gears and follow evidence-based treatment protocols.