People should not delay taking Covid-19 vaccine as this will give viruses an opportunity to develop new variants and some of them may reduce the efficacy of current vaccines, say healthcare experts.

They believe that those not taking the vaccine are doing a great injustice to their near and dear ones.

Government of India has announced that all individuals aged above 18 years would be eligible to get Covid-19 vaccination starting May 1. This must be considered as the end game for the deadly pandemic to be driven out of India but this would not be achieved if the young and the old hesitate to take vaccine, say the experts.

Dr Mervin Leo, Cluster COO, Gleneagles Global Hospitals believes that Covid-19 virus still has many hosts left to replicate in, and it has more opportunity to randomly develop new variants.

"Some of these variants may reduce the efficacy of the current vaccine, which is surely not a desirable scenario to be in. Hence, it is important people encourage each other to get vaccinated at the earliest and ensure the virus is driven out of our lives before it gets to us," he said.

Healthcare facilities across Hyderabad are ramping up their capacity to vaccinate more population in the weeks ahead. They believe vaccination for all is the most definitive step in the fight against coronavirus.

"Vaccination for all is about controlling the pandemic at a population level through reaching herd immunity, and the objective cannot be achieved unless each and every one joins the movement and get themselves vaccinated. Fight against coronavirus requires a community effort, and everybody must step forward in and get their vaccines, so that we can break the chain of transmission from one person to another," said Dr Riyaz Khan, CEO, Continental Hospitals.

"There needs to be emphasis to get a vaccine (Covishield/Covaxin) whichever is available at the earliest and easily. Both are effective. Now it is proven beyond doubt that even a single dose provides decent protection. Vaccines are highly effective in preventing hospitalisations and deaths. It is unnecessary for people to wait for a year to get vaccinated, and the longer we wait to observe any side-effects might only lead to developing of future virus mutants," said Dr Aarathi Bellary, Consultant Internal Medicine, SLG Hospitals.

"RNA vaccines and adenovirus-based vaccines (technologies used to develop vaccines against Covid-19) are already in phase two human trials for other infectious diseases like influenza and a different coronavirus called MERS. Scientists already have safety and immunogenicity data on similar vaccines, and it is time we trust in medical science and opt-in to get vaccinated at the earliest," said Dr Anusha Karra, Internal Medicine, western plains hospital, dodge city, USA