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Covid vax prevented over 42 lakh deaths in India: Lancet

More than 3.5 million Covid fatalities have been documented despite the vaccine’s rapid global rollout.

SNS | New Delhi |

Vaccines developed to fight Covid-19 helped prevent more than 42 lakh potential deaths in India in 2021, according to a mathematical modelling study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

According to calculations based on excess mortality from 185 nations and territories, the first year of the vaccine campaign avoided 19.8 million deaths worldwide out of a possible 31.4 million Covid-19 fatalities.

If the World Health Organization’s goal of vaccinating 40% of the population in each nation with two or more doses by the end of 2021 had been achieved, an additional 599,300 lives may have been prevented.

“Our findings show that millions of lives have likely been saved by making vaccines available to people everywhere, regardless of their wealth. However, more could have been done. If the targets set out by the WHO had been achieved, we estimate that roughly 1 in 5 of the estimated lives lost due to Covid-19 in low-income countries could have been prevented,” said lead author Dr Oliver Watson, from Imperial College London.

Nearly two-thirds of the world’s population have gotten at least one dose of a Covid vaccination since the first Covid-19 vaccine was given outside of a clinical trial setting on December 8, 2020. (66 per cent).

More than 3.5 million Covid fatalities have been documented despite the vaccine’s rapid global rollout.

However, the scientists discovered that if immunizations had not been administered, an estimated 18.1 million fatalities would have happened throughout the study period based on officially registered Covid deaths.

With the initial goal of providing two vaccination doses to 20% of the population in countries covered by the commitment by the end of 2021, the Covid-19 Vaccine Get program (COVAX) has made it easier for lower-income nations to access inexpensive vaccines in an effort to lessen inequities.

By establishing a worldwide plan to completely immunize 70% of the world’s population by the middle of 2022 and an intermediate goal of immunizing 40% of the population of all nations by the end of 2021, the WHO enlarged this aim.

“Ensuring fair access to vaccines is crucial, but requires more than just donating vaccines. Improvements in vaccine distribution and infrastructure, as well as coordinated efforts to combat vaccine misinformation and improve vaccine demand, are needed. Only then can we ensure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from these life-saving technologies,” said Prof Azra Ghani, Chair in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial.
(with inputs from IANS)