Updated on: Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 07:38 AM IST

'Safe' tag for partially vaccinated receives mixed response from doctors

Covid-19 vaccination  | Photo: ANI

Covid-19 vaccination | Photo: ANI


There is a debate churning up around the statement issued by the Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on permitting people with only one dose vaccine and showing 'safe' on the Arogya Setu application.

However, the statement has received mixed reactions from doctors. The doctors have said there is no harm in allowing people with one vaccine dose but they have to be more careful and adhere to covid norms.

The state task force members said that instead of giving more relaxations the governments should focus on vaccinating 100 per cent of the population with at least one dose.

They believe that at times when cases are under control, giving more relaxation is not a good decision. Instead, the authorities need to reduce the gap between two doses of the Covid vaccine.

The state health minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday said the “safe status” on the Aarogya Setu app might be considered as the permit for the individuals with a single dose of Covid vaccine to participating in all activities in the opened-up sectors post-Diwali, primarily because of the long gap between two shots of Covishield.

He said: “We shall examine the possibility of using the status on the Aarogya Setu app in case a person has taken a single dose of Covishield, as the current gap between its two doses is 84 days. If cases continue to remain low post-Diwali, we shall discuss it with state task force members and the experts.”

Tope said he had approached the Centre regarding reducing the gap between the two doses of Covishield, but the central government authorities ruled it out. Besides Maharashtra, some other states had also approached the Centre to reduce the gap.

Dr Hemlata Arora from the Nanavati Mac Super Speciality Hospital said vaccination has played a major role following which most of them have developed antibodies. Moreover, there is no harm in permitting people to travel if they have taken only a single dose of covid vaccine, but they need to follow covid norms. “BMC has vaccinated 97 per cent of an eligible population with the first dose and most of the senior citizens have taken both the doses which means more than 50 per cent of the Mumbai population have developed antibodies. However, citizens need to wear masks for the next three to four months,” she said.

However senior health experts are not very keen on giving more relaxation until citizens have taken both doses of the COVID vaccine stating it will not be a good decision at this moment when COVID cases are stable.

Dr Rahul Pandit, who heads the ICU in Fortis Hospital, Mulund, and is a member of the state government’s task force on Covid said there should be no relaxation on vaccination drives as it is the only way people cannot contract infections. “Allowing or permitting people with single-dose post-Diwali is not a good move as it will create more pressure on the doctors and government body considering people failed to follow covid norms,” he said.

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Published on: Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 07:38 AM IST