Studies show the risk of hospitalisation due to COIVID-19 falls by 70-80 per cent if a person is vaccinated, the government said today. After vaccination, the chances of a Covid patient needing medical oxygen also reduce by 8 per cent, the government said.
Daily cases have fallen by up to 85 per cent since the peak of the second wave in early May, and actives cases have reduced by 78.6 per cent since then, the government said.
A sharp fall of 81 per cent has been recorded in weekly case positivity rate. It was the highest at 21.6 per cent between April 30 and May 6, the government said.
The country has 513 districts with positivity rate less than 5 per cent, it said.
Vaccinating as many people as possible in record time before another wave comes is a strategy being followed across the world.
"We must ensure vaccination when our turn comes. That's our best weapon against Covid, apart from following Covid guidelines. The time hasn't come yet to party and we should be careful of taking off the mask," said Dr Vinod K Paul, member of the Covid task force of the government's think tank NITI Aayog.
While a majority of healthcare experts predicted the vaccination drive would pick up significantly this year, they cautioned against an early removal of restrictions, as some states have done.
On whether children and those under 18 years would be most at risk in a potential third wave, nearly two-thirds of experts in a Reuters poll, or 26 of 40, said yes.
"The reason being they are a completely virgin population in terms of vaccination because currently there is no vaccine available for them," said Dr Pradeep Banandur, head of epidemiology department at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).
Some states like Maharashtra have covered a lot of ground in vaccinating people. Many are lagging behind due to shortage of vaccines, but are fast picking up pace.
More than half a crore people in Maharashtra have become fully vaccinated over the last five months, a report by the state health department said. A total of 53,72,219 people have got both doses till now, it said. The Election Commission's data shared before the assembly election in 2019 showed Maharashtra had nine crore people above 18 years.
With inputs from Reuters