At least 50% of Indians must be vaccinated, says Prathap C. Reddy

The country must vaccinate at least 50% of its population against COVID-19 to protect them from the infection, Apollo Hospitals’ founder Prathap C. Reddy said.

In a conversation on Friday with Ar. Rm. Arun, president of the Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Reddy said people’s mindset had to change. In the pandemic, many doctors and even pharmacists had lost their lives while delivering care. For people to recover from the pandemic, it is necessary to follow COVID-19 protocols, such as washing hands, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance, he said.

“Vaccine is effective in protecting (against infection) by building antibodies,” he explained. Many people were influenced by the media, which focused on the adverse effects of the vaccine, he rued. “Side effects were found only in 1 in 1,00,000 people. It is fear of side-effects projected by the media that delayed vaccination,” he said, citing the experience in Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, where vaccination had prevented serious illness among vaccinated employees.

Dr. Reddy said India should raise its health budget to as much as 5% in order to ensure better public health delivery. People for their part, should also invest in their health by taking out insurance, he said. The way forward for India’s public health is to double the seats in postgraduate programmes as that would increase the number of doctors.

Healthy population

To a question on whether the country had plugged the gaps in COVID-19, Dr. Reddy said Apollo Hospitals had launched Kavach, through which patients could speak to doctors round the clock. He said the pandemic had spotlighted the need to build a healthy population. Non-communicable diseases had become a burden, and the pandemic had shown the impact it could have on the health of people.

According to him, in the future the medical profession would rely on artificial intelligence, robotics and automation, making surgery more precise, safe and accessible. He believed that India could be the destination for healthcare across the world, with trained doctors, nurses and paramedics.

Asked for his advice to young doctors, Dr. Reddy said: “Create centres of excellence; inspire medical students to aspire to be the best. Given an opportunity, India can be the very best in providing care.”

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 2:33:32 AM |

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