The government’s current approach to vaccination — focusing on younger age groups — “is causing huge numbers of avertable deaths and is deeply inequitable, both between age groups and within them”, argue researchers in a commentary published in British medical journal BMJ on Wednesday.
From May 3 to June 5, 2021, more first doses were administered to people under 45 than over 60, even though at least 77 million people aged 60 remain unvaccinated, they wrote, urging the government to reallocate doses to older people.
Authors suggest the move to make vaccines free for those aged 18-45 could increase focus on youths, rather than those aged 45-plus. “…access is mainly determined by socioeconomic status, with very low coverage in rural areas and among disadvantaged,” they wrote.
Many are “resorting to private purchases… especially unaffordable for older people,” they added. The researchers are from University of East Anglia, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, King’s College London, University of Aberdeen from the UK; TISS in Mumbai, and Alagappa University in Tamil Nadu.