AIIMS director Randeep Guleria while addressing during an event organised by the IPS (Central) Association said that the main reason for the surge in the COVID-19 cases is the attitude of the people.
â€œThere are multiple reasons for the surge, but the main reason is that there is change in peopleâ€™s attitude and they feel coronavirus is over. People should still restrict non-essential travel for some more time,â€ the official asserted.
Meanwhile, speaking about the vaccination, Guleria said that the vaccine should be able to give good protection from the infection for eight to ten months.
NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul said the chain of transmission has to be stopped and for that vaccine is one tool but another is containment and surveillance strategy.
Responding to a question on vaccinating more people, Paul said the issue is vaccines are limited and that is why, prioritisation has been done.
â€œIf we had unlimited supply, we would open the vaccination for everyone. That is the reason, not everyone, is getting vaccinated. Most countries in the world are not able to go beyond priority group because of this reason,â€ he said.
The NITI Aayog member also said that the highest mortality was seen among people with co-morbidities and older age groups.
â€œThese people must not delay taking the vaccine. So the message is that they need it more than others. That is the reason they have been prioritised for getting the COVID-19 vaccine,â€ he said.
Talking about the effectiveness of the available COVID-19 vaccines, Covaxin and Covishield, Guleria said, â€œIf we look at the two vaccines, they produce equal antibodies and are very robust. We should take the vaccine available to us because both are equally effective in terms of efficacy and long-term protection.
Over four crore people in the country have been vaccinated against the disease till now. Under the current phase of the inoculation drive, people above 60 years of age and those in the 45-59 years age bracket with co-morbidities, are being vaccinated.