Vaccination gains momentum

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Vaccination shots for the elder people aged 65 and above in coming weeks and our country is on the road towards the end of the pandemic that has upended life and taken lives of over 3,000 people in our country and has disrupted our economy.

As the vaccination programme gains momentum, we see the beginning of our victory against the pandemic. Meanwhile, we are confident that our people will also be patient and wait for their turn with trust and confidence.

We appeal all people to abide by COVID-19 health rules and guidelines during the period when the vaccines are still not available. And, those who have been vaccinated against the virus are urged not to even think of putting the mask away anytime soon.

About 70 per cent of our population will be vaccinated against COVID-19 in 2021 and 2022. Sixteen days after the beginning of vaccination, with 1.5 million vaccines donated by the Government of India, two million dozes of vaccines purchased from India arrived on 11 February.

We have a long way to go until the majority of our citizens are vaccinated, but we should all be grateful to see the progress being made and keep the faith that a return to normalcy is on the horizon.

Meanwhile, vaccines provided under the COVAX Facility will arrive in March and vaccines bought by the state budget will arrive in April. The coming months can bring logistics, public relations and communications challenges for the government and health authorities.

We have a long way to go until the majority of our citizens are vaccinated, but we should all be grateful to see the progress being made and keep the faith that a return to normalcy is on the horizon. A major UK study has confirmed that most people who have been infected with the coronavirus have antibodies in their blood for at least six months. Earlier, the consensus on viral immune response had considered three months as a minimum period during which one was highly unlikely to be reinfected.

But, we would like to urge all those who have been vaccinated or not to follow the basic rules and regulations — including staying masked and socially distanced until we are out of the woods. As the progress of vaccination is being made, patience is required.

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