Anticipating an increase in the number of COVID cases during the upcoming Holi Festival, the Uttar Pradesh Government is deliberating upon the initiation of COVID vaccination drives for citizens aged 18-45. Additionally, the current plans indicate that the necessary condition of comorbidity(s) for immunisation of people over the age of 50 may soon be done away with, ensuring vaccination for all individuals in the vulnerable age group.

Proposal draft for expanding drives submitted to the Union government

With regards to its resolve, the state government has already drafted a proposal and submitted it to the union administration. Alternatively, the Uttar Pradesh government has successfully implemented initiatives for controlling the spread of the pandemic, as seen through the notable increase in recoveries and diminishing fatality rate. Now, the top officials are trying to alter the vaccination plan for the benefit of the citizens after seeking approval from the Central Health Ministry.

In order to further loosen the grip of the virus, the state government proposes to start inoculation drives for young citizens aged between 18 and 45. Amongst them, it is important to administer vaccine jabs to individuals with co-morbid conditions like type-1 diabetes, medically diagnosed hypertension or cardiac condition on a priority basis. In addition to this, patients with auto-immune diseases or those on immunosuppressant medication may also be covered under the first schedules.

30% of the population needs to be vaccinated for achieving herd immunity

Given that the individuals in this age group have a greater chance of spreading the virus, their vaccination shall be beneficial towards curtailing the contamination. Speaking about this, an official from the health department said, "These are the people who may be silent spreaders. Data shows that while a large majority of them were asymptomatic, they are carriers of the virus. Therefore, their inclusion is crucial to control the spread."

The state authorities are also considering the prospects of focused inoculation for specific professionals like bankers and teachers. As per experts, around 30% of the population or 22.79 individuals in Uttar Pradesh need to be vaccinated if the state wants to achieve herd immunity. As of now, 5% of this target has been accomplished with the immunisation of 34 lakh individuals. If the state wants to breach the COVID spread through accelerated inoculation drives, it has to include people from diverse age groups in its vaccination plan.

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