Fighting the fear of Vaccine
Better is to get vaccinated and stop spreading the virus
By: Er.Ishfaq khaliq
COVID-19 pandemic affected every country in the world quite seriously taking precious human lives, halting the socio-economic functionality and affecting all spheres of life. The deadly virus which belongs to a large family of viruses’ causes illness ranging from the common cold to more severe conditions has encroached on the daily lives of millions of people. Scientific studies show that most people infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without any special treatment though older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer are more likely to develop serious illnesses.
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Guidelines and SOP’s have been issued by World Health Organization (WHO) and respective governments for protection against the virus which include social distancing, personal hygiene and wearing face masks etc.
Recently the vaccines that arrived are considered as the best option to reduce the outbreak and to make sure that people are safeguarded against the virus. The pandemic poses a serious threat to our health and well-being and researchers are racing to develop and test vaccines against COVID-19. The efficacy of the vaccines has been established by the scientific community but its success will depend on the public’s acceptance.
Most countries are far ahead with the vaccination drive and some have already achieved hundred percent vaccination and therefore relaxed the covid curfew to a large extent. But in India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, people are suspecting the vaccine to be some kind of a larger game plan and therefore hesitate to go for it. There are numerous rumors regarding the vaccine and even after a vehement campaign by the doctors community against such baseless rumors, people find it difficult to believe the vaccine and are staying away from it. There are many such reasons regarding the vaccine which have caused serious dilemma in the minds of the masses and a lot needs to be done to brush aside such confusions and encourage people to go for the vaccine.
Recently the fake news associated with French scientist Luc Montagnier, in which it was suggested that those who have vaccinated shall die in two years time, caused serious concerns among people and added to the already existing mistrust and doubt regarding the vaccine. While the news spred like wild fire, its rebuttal didn’t get as much coverage as was needed. The large groups of scientists rejected the such fake news and admitted that while some scientists believe that vaccination wasn’t the answer, no one has however claimed that people would die of it. Experts have said that in countries like America, India, Europe, France the deaths before vaccination were much more than the deaths after vaccination was done.
The current pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge on many levels and the development of a vaccine was eagerly awaited by the word. However, it soon became clear that to end the pandemic, we would have to address another ubiquitous problem- the widespread hesitancy toward or downright rejection of vaccination. To achieve population immunity, a large majority of people have to participate. However, in a survey of US health care workers, 48% had not yet been vaccinated, and of those, 18% did not plan on receiving a COVID-19 vaccine because of concerns over adverse effects and the vaccines’ newness.
Acknowledging that vaccines can cause unwanted effects and that concerns about adverse effects are understandable is an important first step in any conversation. This is particularly relevant for those who have experienced adverse effects in the past or are more likely to be affected. However, it is also worth pointing out that most people experience no or only mild side effects. It is also important to explain that not all symptoms that occur following vaccination are caused by the vaccine.
The major trial investigating the Pfizer, BioTech, covashield vaccine which included more than 40000 people reported fatigue after the first shot in the placebo group of 23% to 33%, headache was reported by 18% to 34% and muscle pain by 8% to 11%. So far no one has reported any serious issue and data reveals that people are feeling better after the vaccination. Some others speak about the speed of vaccine development, intricacies of trials, number of participants, etc., that are often pseudoscientific and not substantiated by original data. Misinformation always travels faster than facts.
Thousands of researchers have put in great efforts to produce the covid-19 vaccine and people are stuck to the fake statement attributed to a French virologist. Isn’t it ironic? We must come forward and secure ourselves by taking the vaccine without any hesitation or wavering.