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1亿印度人未接种第二剂新冠疫苗,印度忐忑备战第三波新冠疫情

1亿印度人未接种第二剂新冠疫苗,印度忐忑备战第三波新冠疫情

Biman Mukherji 2021年11月06日
印度的每日新冠肺炎病例在今年5月初高达40万例,目前已经降至1.25万例左右。但新冠疫苗完全接种率仍然远未达标。

不到两周前,印度举国欢庆,庆祝新冠疫苗接种达到10亿剂次,印度9亿成年人中有近70%至少接种过一剂新冠疫苗。如今,该国的卫生部门面临严峻现实:超1亿人没有按照计划接种第二剂新冠疫苗,导致印度忐忑备战第三波新冠疫情。

印度的每日新冠肺炎病例在今年5月初高达40万例,目前已经降至1.25万例左右。但如此之多的印度民众错过第二剂新冠疫苗,不禁令人担忧这个世界第二人口大国会迎来新一轮感染潮,尤其是适逢节日季,人群涌入市场,迎来送往,印度各大院校在经历近两年的远程教学后准备恢复在校上课,形势越发复杂。

在过去一个月里,西孟加拉邦和阿萨姆邦等邦在宗教节日期间放松疫情限制,导致感染人数出现激增。

印度近70%的人口至少接种过一剂新冠疫苗,但只有30%的人接种完两剂新冠疫苗。预计印度无法在今年年底前为全国所有成年人口全面接种新冠疫苗。

“我们已经经历了第二波疫情,人们在病痛中垂死挣扎。我们知道,接种过第二剂新冠疫苗后,死亡率几乎降为零。为什么不努力普及第二剂?”经济学家、比尔及梅琳达·盖茨基金会(Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)的前政策顾问阿米尔·乌拉·汗说,“我们不能半途而废,不能因为完成了一半的工作就自鸣得意,这样会传达出错误的讯息。”

世界卫生组织(World Health Organization)称,大多数新冠疫苗至少设为两剂,两次接种之间的间隔取决于具体的疫苗品牌。印度血清研究所(Serum Institute of India)在当地生产的Covishield疫苗——牛津-阿斯利康(Oxford-AstraZeneca)疫苗,是印度主流的疫苗品牌。虽然没有确切的数据显示一剂和两剂受试者抵抗德尔塔变异毒株的对比情况,但阿米尔·乌拉·汗指出,有传言称两剂受试者的死亡率确实有所下降。

印度政府在电视和广播上宣传公共卫生,提醒人们遵守戴口罩等安全防护规定、接种疫苗,但卫生专家表示,公众还没有充分认识到接种第二剂新冠疫苗的重要性。关于新冠疫苗的错误信息四处流传,特别是在偏远农村地区,阻碍了提高全面疫苗接种率的进程。

今年5月,印度爆发第二波疫情,彼时病毒肆虐、疫苗短缺,印度将第一剂和第二剂Covishield疫苗之间的间隔期从4到6周延长到12到16周,优先普及第一剂,至少实现部分防护。

阿米尔·乌拉·汗表示,如今新冠疫苗并不短缺,但由于间隔时间发生变化,许多印度人不确定应该何时接种第二剂疫苗。在印度,18岁以上者均可以接种疫苗,但必须首先在政府推出的手机应用程序CoWin上注册申请。

独立卫生专家加金德拉·辛格分析称,虽然接种第二剂新冠疫苗的信息能够在应用程序上找到,但智能手机普及率低、民众文化水平低,意味着不是人人都可以知晓这些信息。在印度的14亿人口中,拥有智能手机的人刚刚过半。

印度的卫生专业人员预计将很快开始挨家挨户地接种第二剂新冠疫苗,类似于长达数十年的全国性小儿麻痹症防治运动。辛格指出,相比之下,新冠疫苗接种任务更加艰巨,因为还有相互感染的风险。

公共政策独立顾问巴伦·米特拉对《财富》杂志表示,印度全国性的验血调查估计近70%的印度人的新冠病毒抗体呈阳性,但印度政府没有利用调查结果,针对更易感染新冠病毒的人群进行新冠疫苗接种。

米特尔直言,印度卫生当局本来能够定量配给疫苗,优先分配给抗体水平低、最需要疫苗的人群。他说,如果卫生当局当初做到这一点,印度如今就可以实现全民免疫了,不论是因为感染还是疫苗接种。(财富中文网)

译者:Transn

不到两周前,印度举国欢庆,庆祝新冠疫苗接种达到10亿剂次,印度9亿成年人中有近70%至少接种过一剂新冠疫苗。如今,该国的卫生部门面临严峻现实:超1亿人没有按照计划接种第二剂新冠疫苗,导致印度忐忑备战第三波新冠疫情。

印度的每日新冠肺炎病例在今年5月初高达40万例,目前已经降至1.25万例左右。但如此之多的印度民众错过第二剂新冠疫苗,不禁令人担忧这个世界第二人口大国会迎来新一轮感染潮,尤其是适逢节日季,人群涌入市场,迎来送往,印度各大院校在经历近两年的远程教学后准备恢复在校上课,形势越发复杂。

在过去一个月里,西孟加拉邦和阿萨姆邦等邦在宗教节日期间放松疫情限制,导致感染人数出现激增。

印度近70%的人口至少接种过一剂新冠疫苗,但只有30%的人接种完两剂新冠疫苗。预计印度无法在今年年底前为全国所有成年人口全面接种新冠疫苗。

“我们已经经历了第二波疫情,人们在病痛中垂死挣扎。我们知道,接种过第二剂新冠疫苗后,死亡率几乎降为零。为什么不努力普及第二剂?”经济学家、比尔及梅琳达·盖茨基金会(Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)的前政策顾问阿米尔·乌拉·汗说,“我们不能半途而废,不能因为完成了一半的工作就自鸣得意,这样会传达出错误的讯息。”

世界卫生组织(World Health Organization)称,大多数新冠疫苗至少设为两剂,两次接种之间的间隔取决于具体的疫苗品牌。印度血清研究所(Serum Institute of India)在当地生产的Covishield疫苗——牛津-阿斯利康(Oxford-AstraZeneca)疫苗,是印度主流的疫苗品牌。虽然没有确切的数据显示一剂和两剂受试者抵抗德尔塔变异毒株的对比情况,但阿米尔·乌拉·汗指出,有传言称两剂受试者的死亡率确实有所下降。

印度政府在电视和广播上宣传公共卫生,提醒人们遵守戴口罩等安全防护规定、接种疫苗,但卫生专家表示,公众还没有充分认识到接种第二剂新冠疫苗的重要性。关于新冠疫苗的错误信息四处流传,特别是在偏远农村地区,阻碍了提高全面疫苗接种率的进程。

今年5月,印度爆发第二波疫情,彼时病毒肆虐、疫苗短缺,印度将第一剂和第二剂Covishield疫苗之间的间隔期从4到6周延长到12到16周,优先普及第一剂,至少实现部分防护。

阿米尔·乌拉·汗表示,如今新冠疫苗并不短缺,但由于间隔时间发生变化,许多印度人不确定应该何时接种第二剂疫苗。在印度,18岁以上者均可以接种疫苗,但必须首先在政府推出的手机应用程序CoWin上注册申请。

独立卫生专家加金德拉·辛格分析称,虽然接种第二剂新冠疫苗的信息能够在应用程序上找到,但智能手机普及率低、民众文化水平低,意味着不是人人都可以知晓这些信息。在印度的14亿人口中,拥有智能手机的人刚刚过半。

印度的卫生专业人员预计将很快开始挨家挨户地接种第二剂新冠疫苗,类似于长达数十年的全国性小儿麻痹症防治运动。辛格指出,相比之下,新冠疫苗接种任务更加艰巨,因为还有相互感染的风险。

公共政策独立顾问巴伦·米特拉对《财富》杂志表示,印度全国性的验血调查估计近70%的印度人的新冠病毒抗体呈阳性,但印度政府没有利用调查结果,针对更易感染新冠病毒的人群进行新冠疫苗接种。

米特尔直言,印度卫生当局本来能够定量配给疫苗,优先分配给抗体水平低、最需要疫苗的人群。他说,如果卫生当局当初做到这一点,印度如今就可以实现全民免疫了,不论是因为感染还是疫苗接种。(财富中文网)

译者:Transn

Less than two weeks ago, India celebrated administering its 1 billionth COVID-19 vaccine in a campaign that has partially inoculated nearly 70% of the country’s 900 million adults. Now, a new reality is worrying its health authorities: More than 100 million people have not turned up for their scheduled second vaccine dose, leaving the country vulnerable to a third wave.

India’s daily COVID cases have dropped to around 12,500 from a peak of 400,000 in early May. But the problem of missed second doses is raising concerns about a fresh surge of infections in the world’s second most populous nation, especially as crowds flood markets and mingle freely during the ongoing festival season and as Indian schools and colleges prepare to return to in-person instruction after nearly two years of remote learning.

States such as West Bengal and Assam have already witnessed a spike in infections in the past month after relaxing pandemic restrictions during religious festivals.

Nearly 70% of India’s population have received at least a single dose of vaccine, but just 30% are fully vaccinated with both doses. India is expected to miss its target of fully vaccinating the country’s entire adult population by year’s end.

“We have seen people suffering and dying during the second COVID wave. We know that fatality drops to nearly zero after the second vaccine dose. Why are we not working hard to give the second dose to people?” says Amir Ullah Khan, an economist and former policy adviser for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We can’t pat ourselves on the back for a job half-done, because that sends a wrong message.”

Most COVID-19 vaccines require at least two doses and the interval between the two jabs depends on which one is being used, according to the World Health Organization. The Covishield vaccine—the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab manufactured locally by the Serum Institute of India—makes up the majority of vaccines being administered in India. While there is no firm data showing exactly how well one-dose and two-dose recipients fare against the Delta variant, Khan says anecdotal evidence shows that fatality rates do fall among the population with two doses.

The Indian government has launched public health advertisements on television and radio that caution people about the need to maintain safety protocols like wearing masks as well as the need for vaccination, but health experts say the public doesn’t sufficiently understand the importance of the second vaccine dose. Misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines—especially in remote rural areas—have hampered efforts to achieve a higher full-vaccination rate.

At the height of India’s second wave in May—when the virus was rampant and jabs were in short supply—the country increased the waiting period between the first and second doses of its Covishield vaccine from four to six weeks to 12 to 16 weeks to prioritize first doses, which offer partial protection.

There is no shortage of vaccines now, but many Indians are unsure about when to receive their second dose because the time frame shifted, says Khan. Everyone over age 18 is eligible for a jab in India, but Indians are required to register themselves for vaccination on a CoWin government app.

The information about the schedule of the second dose is available on the app, but low smartphone penetration and low literacy levels mean not everyone can access the information, says Gajendra Singh, an independent health expert. Just over 50% of India’s 1.4 billion population own a smartphone.

Indian health professionals are expected to soon start a door-to-door drive to administer second doses, similar to a decades-long national campaign against polio. The task is harder with COVID-19 because there’s a risk workers will get infected, says Singh.

The Indian government also has not used results from a national survey of blood tests, which estimates around 70% of Indians are positive for COVID-19 antibodies, to target its vaccination drive at people more vulnerable to the virus, says Barun Mitra, an independent public policy consultant, to Fortune.

Indian health authorities could have rationed vaccines to prioritize distribution to those with low antibodies who needed it most, says Mitra. Had health authorities done that, the country could have reached universal immunity—through infection or vaccination—by now, he says.

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