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1億印度人未接種第二劑新冠疫苗,印度忐忑備戰第三波新冠疫情

1億印度人未接種第二劑新冠疫苗,印度忐忑備戰第三波新冠疫情

Biman Mukherji 2021年11月06日
印度的每日新冠肺炎病例在今年5月初高達40萬例,目前已經降至1.25萬例左右。但新冠疫苗完全接種率仍然遠未達標。

不到兩周前,印度舉國歡慶,慶祝新冠疫苗接種達到10億劑次,印度9億成年人中有近70%至少接種過一劑新冠疫苗。如今,該國的衛生部門面臨嚴峻現實:超1億人沒有按照計劃接種第二劑新冠疫苗,導致印度忐忑備戰第三波新冠疫情。

印度的每日新冠肺炎病例在今年5月初高達40萬例,目前已經降至1.25萬例左右。但如此之多的印度民眾錯過第二劑新冠疫苗,不禁令人擔憂這個世界第二人口大國會迎來新一輪感染潮,尤其是適逢節日季,人群涌入市場,迎來送往,印度各大院校在經歷近兩年的遠程教學后準備恢復在校上課,形勢越發復雜。

在過去一個月里,西孟加拉邦和阿薩姆邦等邦在宗教節日期間放松疫情限制,導致感染人數出現激增。

印度近70%的人口至少接種過一劑新冠疫苗,但只有30%的人接種完兩劑新冠疫苗。預計印度無法在今年年底前為全國所有成年人口全面接種新冠疫苗。

“我們已經經歷了第二波疫情,人們在病痛中垂死掙扎。我們知道,接種過第二劑新冠疫苗后,死亡率幾乎降為零。為什么不努力普及第二劑?”經濟學家、比爾及梅琳達·蓋茨基金會(Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)的前政策顧問阿米爾·烏拉·汗說,“我們不能半途而廢,不能因為完成了一半的工作就自鳴得意,這樣會傳達出錯誤的訊息?!?/p>

世界衛生組織(World Health Organization)稱,大多數新冠疫苗至少設為兩劑,兩次接種之間的間隔取決于具體的疫苗品牌。印度血清研究所(Serum Institute of India)在當地生產的Covishield疫苗——牛津-阿斯利康(Oxford-AstraZeneca)疫苗,是印度主流的疫苗品牌。雖然沒有確切的數據顯示一劑和兩劑受試者抵抗德爾塔變異毒株的對比情況,但阿米爾·烏拉·汗指出,有傳言稱兩劑受試者的死亡率確實有所下降。

印度政府在電視和廣播上宣傳公共衛生,提醒人們遵守戴口罩等安全防護規定、接種疫苗,但衛生專家表示,公眾還沒有充分認識到接種第二劑新冠疫苗的重要性。關于新冠疫苗的錯誤信息四處流傳,特別是在偏遠農村地區,阻礙了提高全面疫苗接種率的進程。

今年5月,印度爆發第二波疫情,彼時病毒肆虐、疫苗短缺,印度將第一劑和第二劑Covishield疫苗之間的間隔期從4到6周延長到12到16周,優先普及第一劑,至少實現部分防護。

阿米爾·烏拉·汗表示,如今新冠疫苗并不短缺,但由于間隔時間發生變化,許多印度人不確定應該何時接種第二劑疫苗。在印度,18歲以上者均可以接種疫苗,但必須首先在政府推出的手機應用程序CoWin上注冊申請。

獨立衛生專家加金德拉·辛格分析稱,雖然接種第二劑新冠疫苗的信息能夠在應用程序上找到,但智能手機普及率低、民眾文化水平低,意味著不是人人都可以知曉這些信息。在印度的14億人口中,擁有智能手機的人剛剛過半。

印度的衛生專業人員預計將很快開始挨家挨戶地接種第二劑新冠疫苗,類似于長達數十年的全國性小兒麻痹癥防治運動。辛格指出,相比之下,新冠疫苗接種任務更加艱巨,因為還有相互感染的風險。

公共政策獨立顧問巴倫·米特拉對《財富》雜志表示,印度全國性的驗血調查估計近70%的印度人的新冠病毒抗體呈陽性,但印度政府沒有利用調查結果,針對更易感染新冠病毒的人群進行新冠疫苗接種。

米特爾直言,印度衛生當局本來能夠定量配給疫苗,優先分配給抗體水平低、最需要疫苗的人群。他說,如果衛生當局當初做到這一點,印度如今就可以實現全民免疫了,不論是因為感染還是疫苗接種。(財富中文網)

譯者:Transn

不到兩周前,印度舉國歡慶,慶祝新冠疫苗接種達到10億劑次,印度9億成年人中有近70%至少接種過一劑新冠疫苗。如今,該國的衛生部門面臨嚴峻現實:超1億人沒有按照計劃接種第二劑新冠疫苗,導致印度忐忑備戰第三波新冠疫情。

印度的每日新冠肺炎病例在今年5月初高達40萬例,目前已經降至1.25萬例左右。但如此之多的印度民眾錯過第二劑新冠疫苗,不禁令人擔憂這個世界第二人口大國會迎來新一輪感染潮,尤其是適逢節日季,人群涌入市場,迎來送往,印度各大院校在經歷近兩年的遠程教學后準備恢復在校上課,形勢越發復雜。

在過去一個月里,西孟加拉邦和阿薩姆邦等邦在宗教節日期間放松疫情限制,導致感染人數出現激增。

印度近70%的人口至少接種過一劑新冠疫苗,但只有30%的人接種完兩劑新冠疫苗。預計印度無法在今年年底前為全國所有成年人口全面接種新冠疫苗。

“我們已經經歷了第二波疫情,人們在病痛中垂死掙扎。我們知道,接種過第二劑新冠疫苗后,死亡率幾乎降為零。為什么不努力普及第二劑?”經濟學家、比爾及梅琳達·蓋茨基金會(Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)的前政策顧問阿米爾·烏拉·汗說,“我們不能半途而廢,不能因為完成了一半的工作就自鳴得意,這樣會傳達出錯誤的訊息?!?/p>

世界衛生組織(World Health Organization)稱,大多數新冠疫苗至少設為兩劑,兩次接種之間的間隔取決于具體的疫苗品牌。印度血清研究所(Serum Institute of India)在當地生產的Covishield疫苗——牛津-阿斯利康(Oxford-AstraZeneca)疫苗,是印度主流的疫苗品牌。雖然沒有確切的數據顯示一劑和兩劑受試者抵抗德爾塔變異毒株的對比情況,但阿米爾·烏拉·汗指出,有傳言稱兩劑受試者的死亡率確實有所下降。

印度政府在電視和廣播上宣傳公共衛生,提醒人們遵守戴口罩等安全防護規定、接種疫苗,但衛生專家表示,公眾還沒有充分認識到接種第二劑新冠疫苗的重要性。關于新冠疫苗的錯誤信息四處流傳,特別是在偏遠農村地區,阻礙了提高全面疫苗接種率的進程。

今年5月,印度爆發第二波疫情,彼時病毒肆虐、疫苗短缺,印度將第一劑和第二劑Covishield疫苗之間的間隔期從4到6周延長到12到16周,優先普及第一劑,至少實現部分防護。

阿米爾·烏拉·汗表示,如今新冠疫苗并不短缺,但由于間隔時間發生變化,許多印度人不確定應該何時接種第二劑疫苗。在印度,18歲以上者均可以接種疫苗,但必須首先在政府推出的手機應用程序CoWin上注冊申請。

獨立衛生專家加金德拉·辛格分析稱,雖然接種第二劑新冠疫苗的信息能夠在應用程序上找到,但智能手機普及率低、民眾文化水平低,意味著不是人人都可以知曉這些信息。在印度的14億人口中,擁有智能手機的人剛剛過半。

印度的衛生專業人員預計將很快開始挨家挨戶地接種第二劑新冠疫苗,類似于長達數十年的全國性小兒麻痹癥防治運動。辛格指出,相比之下,新冠疫苗接種任務更加艱巨,因為還有相互感染的風險。

公共政策獨立顧問巴倫·米特拉對《財富》雜志表示,印度全國性的驗血調查估計近70%的印度人的新冠病毒抗體呈陽性,但印度政府沒有利用調查結果,針對更易感染新冠病毒的人群進行新冠疫苗接種。

米特爾直言,印度衛生當局本來能夠定量配給疫苗,優先分配給抗體水平低、最需要疫苗的人群。他說,如果衛生當局當初做到這一點,印度如今就可以實現全民免疫了,不論是因為感染還是疫苗接種。(財富中文網)

譯者: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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