Oops…the recent surge in Covid-19 cases across the world especially India has been a cause of huge worry. In no way the health infrastructure is capable enough to handle the pandemic of this magnitude. The struggle of health machinery to fight Covid-19 crisis is visible in India.
But what are the solutions in hand for government, policy makers & Health officials. They really don’t have much choice. Crisis like these demand breaking stereotypes, out of box solution can only help to stop Covid-19. In current scenario, the only hope of saving life is speedy vaccination of huge population in short time for achieving achieve herd immunity but then billions of vaccines can’t be produced overnight.
So, the need of the hour is to prioritize vaccination which can help in slowing the spread of Covid-19 & policy makers are doing the same. Presently, below list in chronological order is followed for vaccinating the population
- Health officials or frontline worker
- Defense Personnel
- People above the age of 60 having comorbidities
- People above 45 having comorbidities
- All above 45
This looks the most appropriate approach. But then as I told you earlier this crisis can not be fought with regular strategy. I believe, policy maker must change vaccination Strategy & I have reason for saying so…
To understand it better, we need to know what the main battles policy makers are are fighting in this difficult time. This crisis is mainly a three-front battle of Saving people life, Resurrect Economy & calm down the fears of Covid-19. And the solution is just one… Stop or slowdown the spread of Covid-19 virus.
This brings me to my next question- Who are most likely to spread Covid-19 virus? Again, in chronological order
1. Health officials & front-line worker– Because they must go to hospitals for saving peoples life & are always at risk of getting in contact with Covid-19
2. Working population (Income taxpayer)– The second category is working population as they must go out to work whether offices or shops or manufacturing plant. They really don’t have any choice because they must earn to feed the family. Secondly, they are young people, so they are the ones who must go to market to buy vegetables etc.
3. Students- Naturally they are rebellions & one can’t tie them at home.
As you can see, policy makers are prioritizing the vaccination of few target groups who are not likely to spread Covid-19 or probability of spreading Covid-19 by this target group is minimal. Because people above 60 especially those having comorbidity hardly go outside & most of the time have got infected from the younger member of the family. There interaction is limited to few people as they are least likely to go to workplaces or business trips or tourism. As I told you, people above 60 are mostly retired personnel who have little say in the economy but can be impacted significantly by a bad economy.
This brings to my next point- what should be the strategy of policy makers for stopping the spread of Covid0-19 & its straight forward, they should vaccinate first to those who have higher probability of spreading Covid-19. Also, without whom economy cannot run & are growth drivers of the economy. And who are these people. Population in the age bracket of 20 to 50 years must be the target group which government try to vaccinate at the earliest. It will not only help them to save lives of all age groups but also the economy.
How about the below in chronological order for vaccination
1. Health & frontline workers
2. ITR (Taxpayers) & Defense forces
4. People above 60
I believe this will do wonders in handling corona crisis. When you have limited resources available for disposal then prioritization is must which policy makers are doing but it must be rightly prioritized then only objective can be achieved.
This strategy can do miracles for the government. From so many years government is trying to persuade people to pay taxes & file ITR. Because of this approach, people will start filing ITR which will mean results in more revenue for the government. It will also help to achieve many more goalposts which seems impossible as on today
- Herd immunity in very short time
- Less stress on health infrastructure
- People proudly paying taxes & filing ITR
- Revival of economy
- Healthy workforce
I always maintained that covid-19 crisis is one of its kind & one-dimensional thinking, popular decision will not be of any help in this crisis. There is need to break the stereotypes. Initially, there could be opposition from political parties but in crisis management, it important to take decisions which will help all to overcome the crises.