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Covid-19: What you need to know today

India has an estimated 940 million people over the age of 18. Experts say that vaccines will start having an impact on infection rates when 40% of the eligible population has been vaccinated, if even partially, as long as non-pharmaceutical interventions continue.

Anil Kumar Chawla, a relative of Rishi Raj Arora, who died from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), collects ashes on the spot where he was cremated, as part of a ritual at a crematorium in New Delhi, India, April 30, 2021. (Reuters)
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Covid-19: What you need to know today

India has an estimated 940 million people over the age of 18. Experts say that vaccines will start having an impact on infection rates when 40% of the eligible population has been vaccinated, if even partially, as long as non-pharmaceutical interventions continue.
By R Sukumar, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 13, 2021 10:16 PM IST

Opening up Covid-19 vaccination to everyone over the age of 18 and making vaccines available in the open market are both good ideas.

There is very significant vaccine hesitancy across India. Things have improved, but a large number of people, even in states with high levels of literacy and awareness, still don’t want to be vaccinated; Tamil Nadu is a case in point. Universal eligibility (anyone over the age of 18; vaccines are still being tested on the younger population) is therefore the surest way of reaching a critical number of vaccinations even as the Centre and state work on overcoming vaccine hesitancy.

India has an estimated 940 million people over the age of 18. Experts say that vaccines will start having an impact on infection rates when 40% of the eligible population has been vaccinated, if even partially, as long as non-pharmaceutical interventions (the wearing of masks, social distancing, a ban on large events) continue. That’s 376 million people. India has so far administered vaccines to around 125 million people (98.6 million have received one dose and 26.7 million both doses). It needs to vaccinate around 250 million more people.

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