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Hyderabad: With cases of Covid-19 continuing to get reported steadily and the recent rise of a fresh wave of infections in Europe that involves a lot of breakthrough infections, public health officials and researchers here have urged people in Hyderabad and elsewhere in Telangana to get their pending second dose of Covid vaccine at the earliest.

Senior health officials said that it was important for individuals to complete the vaccine schedule that consists of two doses. “To allow the body to develop antibodies against Covid-19, it is important for individuals, especially those who have defaulted, to get themselves the second dose of Covid vaccine at the earliest. It is important for individuals who are long over-due for the second dose to get vaccinated,” senior health officials here said.

Due to the significant dip in daily Covid infections and drop in Covid related fatalities, there is no sense of urgency among people. As a result, vaccine hesitancy has firmly set in among individuals, not only in Telangana but across the country.

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Recently, the CEO and owner of Serum Institute (SI) on Twitter said, “The vaccine industry has worked tirelessly to provide enough stocks for the nation. Today there are over 200 million doses available with States. I urge all adults to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccine hesitancy is now the greatest threat in overcoming this pandemic”.

Researchers pointed out the instances of breakthrough infections, where even vaccinated individuals are getting infected by Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, it is important for people to focus on vetting vaccinated instead of talking about booster doses.

“At this juncture, it is better to focus on vaccinating as many people as possible for the next three months. Later, when the availability of more treatment options like vaccines and therapeutics improve, perhaps we can think about boosters,” says former Director of CCMB, Dr RK Mishra.

Recent studies on the reducing effectiveness of Covid vaccines against the Delta variant of SARs-CoV-2 are also clear indications that completing vaccine schedule of two doses and adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions like masks, physical distancing is very important to avoid the further surge of Covid infections in the future.

Reached halfway
“In terms of vaccine doses, we have just reached the halfway stage. People should realise that the first dose of Covid vaccine will only provide partial immunity while the double dose provides almost full immunity,” Dr Srinivasa Rao said.

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