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Tackling Covid 19 vaccine hesitancy and busting myths

 

Ever heard about the Dark Ages of Europe? It was a period marked by a rejection of reason, barbaric activities, destroying stored knowledge, poor food, little comfort, rampant subjugation of women and working-class, poor life expectancy, rejecting logic and science, et cetera. The period was marked by intellectual, cultural and economic decline. The age of enlightenment was a revolution in intellectual and philosophical ideas which pulled Europe out of the dark ages trap.

The age believed in the pursuit of happiness, victory of reason and superstition, belief in evidence as a source of primary knowledge, sophisticated ideas like liberty, progress, constitutional government, separation of church and state, et cetera. The dark ages is a metaphor that means subjugating reason over superstition and established knowledge. The analogy can be used in every scenario. History is our witness that revolutionaries and philosophers were once deemed crazy. Socrates was forced to drink hemlock for his revolutionary ideas. People stoned Copernicus told when he first suggested that the earth revolves around the sun.

When it comes to vaccination and getting vaccinated for COVID 19, India and the world live in dark ages. The government has to work a lot to pursue people to get vaccinated against COVID 19, a life-threatening disease. The second wave of COVID 19 has proven to us how bad things can become if caution is not followed. The internet is full of fake news and fake allegations against the vaccine, which deters people from getting vaccinated. COVID 19 demands that human beings live in isolation physically, at least, which is impossible because the human being is a social animal that requires touch and interaction.

We as a community should come together and bust fake news about vaccines and motivate people around us to get the jab. These vaccines are thoroughly tested with permissions, experiments, observation and data backing those results; hence the vaccine is completely safe. The people who have made these vaccines are well learned and trained doctors, chemists, microbiologists, immunologists etc. They know what they are doing.

Let’s dwell into why a person should get vaccinated-

If a person loves his life and wants to live long, he should get jabbed. The vaccine will teach our body’s immune system to recognise the virus and make antibodies to fight it. Communities living in poor health conditions for a long time are more prone to COVID 19 infection. Vaccination will deter the spread of disease, and the infection won’t be fatal.

Before the pandemic, vaccine research and production would normally take 15 to 18 months, but the COVID 19 vaccine did not take much time. This speedy delivery of vaccines has raised suspicions regarding their safety and credibility. While experimenting and researching the vaccine, no steps were skipped because the processes involved in making it has been tested over the years.

Newspapers are packed with news of new variants of COVID 19 like lambda, delta plus, delta etc. Anti-Covid 19 vaccines are made with gene-editing technology, making it easier for these vaccines to be changed according to the mutant. Also, the existing vaccines would work perfectly fine on different variants because the nature of the attack of the virus on the human body has not altered.

When a foreign particle enters the human body, it is met by the immune system’s resistance, which results in rashes, swelling, fever, weakness, fatigue et cetera. Fever and other side-effects after vaccination are temporary and do not harm the human body. These symptoms are a good sign that body’s immune system is alive and kicking.

People who are lactose intolerant, have allergies to certain food like nuts, allergic to insect bites et cetera can get vaccinated. Myths are rolling around that if a person has been infected with COVID 19, he should not get vaccinated, which is wrong. A person infected with COVID 19 has antibodies floating in his body, and vaccination will provide extra protection.

Few people are waiting until several people get vaccinated, which will hinder the control of COVID 19 in the long run. Vaccine hesitancy will lead to the formation of new mutants. When we get vaccinated, we save our life and others‘.

Apart from logical reasons, the world should get vaccinated at the earliest because-

if we ever wish to go out in public without a mask, eat at our favourite restaurant without worry, go to an amusement park or a fair without a sanitiser, attend concerts, touch surfaces and shake hands without dread, hug our loved ones without fear, we should get jabbed.

COVID 19, vaccine

We should promote vaccination and appreciate people who get vaccinated because-

If students ever wish to have an everyday college life where they would go to college, meet friends, have fun in the canteen, attend festivals, prank their professors and seniors, go to school, learn off-line the coronavirus needs to go. It will when we get vaccinated.

What will the vaccine hesitancy cost us?

The coronavirus induced lockdown and pandemic have already disrupted several aspects of our life and economy. The second wave in India has cost every one of us a dear family member or friend. No matter how positive pictures, reports and indicators paint deep down, we all know that economic prospects for coming years are very bleak.

It has become impossible to find jobs, people are being laid off, salaries are cut, and existing businesses had to reduce operation or close. The worst affected sectors are hospitality, luxury goods, clothing, sectors dependent on festivals and non-essential items. To cap it all, India is the youngest country in the world with the highest workforce. Businesses which took loan for operations and working capital are not able to pay EMIs on time as per reports by banks. 

Apart from losses in monetary terms, students are the worst affected. College students are deprived of practical education, exposure and holistic learning. When children go to school, they learn what is written in the textbooks, but they also learn social skills, which is an essential aspect of a child’s development. Virtual learning does not foster a conducive environment for knowledge. Researches have shown that online education is as good as nothing.COVID 19, vaccine

For online education, the country has digital inequality, economic inequality. Villages and rural areas do not have high-speed Internet, many sections of the society cannot afford an internet connection and a gadget for online classes. Lockdown has also robbed students of placements; those who have mounting student loans are worst affected.

Inflationary pressures are mounting, prices of essential items like cooking oils are skyrocketing, fuel prices are recording new highs every day, the third wave of COVID 19 is expected within two to six months, tourists are flogging hill stations without masks and social distancing, Kanwar yatra is given a green flag. All these incidents point to one thing that the sooner we get vaccinated, the quicker this all will be over.

Vaccination will be the first towards an everyday life- a life without dread of death, a life without mask and sanitiser and a life of freedom.  

 

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Aishwarya Ingle

I am a person who believes in freedom of human mind. A free mind is highly creative and imaginative. Imagination is not a cloth that is to neatly folded in a box, but it is fire. It can light an entire jungle or a single matchstick, it depends upon the free environment.

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