The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting that vaccination should be open to everyone above the age of 18. "At present, we are vaccinating the population above 45 years. In view of the rapid spread of the second wave of the disease, we suggest that our vaccination strategy needs to be geared up with immediate effect on war footing. We request the following suggestions in the COVID-19 vaccination drive. All citizens above 18 years of age should be permitted to receive COVID-19 vaccination," the IMA said in a statement.
States like Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi have already urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reduce the age bar for vaccination to 25. The IMA also urged the Prime Minister that family clinics run by private individuals should be included in the vaccination drive along with private hospitals. The statement said that the availability of the vaccine with all doctors and family physicians will impact the vaccination drive in a positive manner.
"Walk in COVID-19 vaccination should be available for all, free of cost at their nearest possible place. Private sector family clinics also should be included actively in the vaccination drive along with private hospitals. Availability of vaccination with all doctors will have a positive impact on the drive," read the statement.
It also suggested making vaccination certificates mandatory to enter public spaces and receive benefits under the public distribution system (PDS). It also called for a limited lockdown in 'non-essential areas' like cinema, cultural, religious and sporting events.
"Zero tolerance against the non-compliance of COVID-19 appropriate behaviours, augmentation of infrastructure beds and oxygen availability, moral support and enthusiastic engagements of frontline health workers, ensuring adequate health care protective gears support and strict adherence to the evidence-based treatment protocols are the key factors needed at this moment," the statement added.