Second wave on the wane, vaccination for kids this year: Expert

Immunisation of children should start later this year or early next year, says head of country’s top medical body

Doctors and staff celebrate the birthday of a 93-year-old COVID patient at KIMS COVID Hospital in Balangir, Odisha. (Pic: Office of Collector, Balangir)

The deadly second wave of COVID-19 seems to be waning fast with scientists suggesting that the Delta variant of the virus, also known as B.1.617.2, is weakening. The sudden spike in positive cases in April-May was largely attributed to the Delta variant.

Dr NK Arora, Head of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI), told News18 that the threat of Delta variant has come down.

Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is not taking the downslide lightly. The top medical body has decided to conduct national-level sero surveys to assess the spread of the pandemic for collecting vital data on the state of infection all over the country.

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Dr Arora told News18: “We are closely monitoring the dosage gap in vaccinations and will review data on it in three to four months.” He said the country will soon have enough vaccine doses. The Serum Institute of India will produce 12 crore doses/month, Bharat Biotech will produce 10 crore dose per month and Sputnik-V will produce 3 to 5 crore doses per month.

The NTAGI head also said that immunisation of children should start later this year or early next year. He said the trial results for the 2-18 year age group will be declared very soon.

The country recorded 91,702 new cases and 3,403 deaths in the last 24 hours. The daily COVID-19 count in India remained below the one-lakh mark for the fourth consecutive day. India’s caseload rose to over 2.9 crore. The death toll surged to more than 3.7 lakh. Tamil Nadu contributed the most number of cases (16,813).

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The Union Ministry of Health on Friday (June 11) said the daily cases are down 8% since it hit the peak on May 7. The weekly COVID-19 positivity rate too has declined significantly. “About 74% decrease in weekly COVID-19 positivity rate since the highest such rate reported between April 30-May 6 at 21.6% in India,” said Health Ministry.

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