Comorbidities list for vaccine eligibility seen as too narrow -R Prasad

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published Published on Mar 1, 2021   modified Modified on Mar 2, 2021

-The Hindu

Focus on severe ailments, combination of diseases excluding many: experts

The Union Health Ministry’s list of 20 comorbidities that make people in the 45-59 year age group eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine is seen by some medical professionals as too narrow.

“The list of comorbidities provided by the Health Ministry is overly restrictive and complicated. Many conditions, including obesity, have been left out,” said Dr. Gagandeep Kang, Professor of Microbiology at CMC Vellore.

“The focus seems to be on people with severe diseases and combination of comorbidities,” Dr. Anant Bhan, a researcher in global health and bioethics based in Bhopal said.

Hypertension is one of the common conditions that increases the risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 disease and even death. However, people with hypertension alone are not eligible unless it is accompanied by other diseases such as diabetes or conditions such as angina. “The initial focus has been on severe forms of a disease or condition. In a month or two, we may see less severe forms of diseases included,” says Dr. D. Prabhakaran from the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Delhi and one of the two members who prepared the list for cardiovascular diseases. There were two members for each thematic disease who prepared a list, and the final list was prepared based on suggestions from each group, he said.

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The Hindu, 1 March, 2021,

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