New Delhi, July 8
India’s Covid-19 recall rate is among the lowest in the world with just 3.2 out of 100 Indians receiving precautionary doses against the global average of 27.
The covid booster coverage rate is much better for Nepal at 21%, Bangladesh at 17% and Pakistan at 11% compared to 3.2% for India, an analysis based on the state of the booster dose of nations at Our World in Data, a leading covid trend analysis site, shows.
The highest number of covid vaccine booster doses given per 100 people is for Germany and Italy at 68, Japan at 63, France 59, Israel 57, Brazil 50, Thailand 42 and the states United 37.
In the WHO South-East Asia Region, India is at the bottom of the table of recalls with 3.2 people out of 100 having received a precautionary dose compared to 21 in Nepal.
Experts warned on Friday against any further laxity in accepting precautionary doses. Pragya Yadav, ICMR-National Institute of Virology’s top infection expert, said: “Although we are not in the fourth wave, the reality is that our overall population immunity is declining and people are vulnerable again. The reminders will protect them from serious infections even if they catch covid.
Nearly 80% of adults in India had completed their primary covid vaccination schedule (first two doses) by July-October 2021, while the disease-induced population immunity caused by the Omicron wave has also declined now.
“It has been more than eight to ten months since the primary vaccination schedule for majority people and more than six months since Omicron. The general population, with low immunity, is vulnerable again now. This explains the rise in infections. If we were to test more, we would find many more cases,” experts said, hoping the use of the booster would increase.
This is also important because 97 districts as of Friday had positivity above 10% and 94 districts had positivity between 5 and 10% indicating that the virus continues to transmit.
Yadav, however, said this was not the fourth wave. “This is an extension of the third wave driven by Omicron. We have so far seen 280 Omicron sublines that are evolving very rapidly,” she said.
Among the 97 districts with a positivity rate above 10% are Panchkula (14.34%), Gurugram (10.32%) in Haryana; and Shimla 10.66%) and Kullu (10.27%) in Himachal.
Among the 94 districts with 5-10% positivity are the six in Haryana (Hisar, Faridabad, Kurukshetra, Panipat, Ambala, Rohtak); the three of Himachal (Mandi, Kangra, Una); The three from Punjab (SAS Nagar, Bathinda, Patiala), Leh and Chandigarh.