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What The Fact! – Vaccines are our only ticket out of the pandemic

Published on Thu 16 Sep 2021 at 05:32

Get vaccinated at the first opportunity you get. And yes, ignore every opinion that tells you not to.

By Varadarajan Ananthakrishnan

It is my habit to check the daily figures on COVID every day on the government portal. My hopes surge and fall – with the decline and increase in cases. But one column that makes me smile wider and wider, is the number of vaccinations across the country. About 73% of this country’s population falls under the category eligible for vaccination. That is approximately 100 crores. My simple maths is if the number of vaccinations hit 100 crores, then all of the eligible population in the country has received at least one jab. Now that means one billion doses.

But will we hit the mark soon? Not if you notice the kind of anti-vaccine narrative flooding social media these days. I am talking of a certain interview with a “US-based Medical Expert”, that is going viral on closed messaging apps. The interview talks about how the vaccines are not of much use, since a person vaccinated can anyway get infected again and the “benefits do not outweigh the risk”.  The Indian interviewer even asks the American “expert”: Am I wrong in not choosing to get vaccinated? And the reply is: “No, you are not!

Believe me that this is not a stray video uploaded by someone who is looking to increase the views of his video. Going by the traction that this post has got – in terms of number of shares, and the number of comments applauding the video –this can be considered as a symptom of a larger malaise. Therein lies the problem.

For the fence-sitters who are still wondering if getting the vaccine is important at all – there cannot be a more emphatic YES! As far as getting infected after vaccination, there is a small number who do get infected – so, it is possible. But what the vaccines will ensure is that the infection doesn’t turn fatal for you. The vaccines are about living on normally even if you get infected. Hope that makes sense, and you go, get vaccinated at the next available opportunity.

A small personal anecdote. Our househelp refused to take the vaccination as a few members of her village told her not to. It took a lot of counselling from us, to get her to agree. She has now agreed to get vaccinated. I am smiling!

Till we meet again – stay safe, follow the protocols and always, check your facts.

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