While the rest of the world is seeing a relative lull in new cases and a dip in the active COVID-19 cases, the United States continues to fight a grim battle – nearly a year after vaccinations began. And the anti-vaxxers are not letting up, even now.
By Varadarajan Ananthakrishnan
The virus has got a stranglehold on the United States, again. While broadly, the world is seeing a relative lull in the COVID-19 numbers, the US is struggling. Despite being one of the earliest countries to begin vaccinating their population, the country is still struggling to get rid of the virus altogether. Not only are the daily average cases on the rise, so is the rate of hospitalisation and even more unfortunate, a substantial number of those hospitalised need intensive care. There have been breakthrough infections as well, with fully vaccinated people getting infected.
But here is an interesting statistic from CDC: Till end of September this year, among those hospitalised, the rate of those vaccinated was 3.8 and the rate of unvaccinated was a staggering 44.8. The correlation is simple. Get vaccinated, be safe.
However this is the kind of statistic that will not concern the anti-vaccine lobby in the country. Steadfast and unflinching misinformation narratives continue even today – among them being lack of trust in the government, safety and efficacy of the vaccines, right to freedom of not getting vaccinated, and more.
The spectre of an even bigger crisis on the horizon cannot be ruled out. With the government announcing a booster shot for all in the age group of 18 and above, this kind of misinformation against vaccines will cost people dear – if those fully vaccinated hesitate to take the booster shot. Remember, the booster shot is important, as the immunity provided by the first two doses may decline over a few months after the second shot. So, it is clear where this is headed.
India has been a lot more fortunate with how the country embraced vaccination and racked up impressive numbers every day. It is unimaginable to think what the situation could have become had the small community of anti-vaxxers gained in strength and numbers.
Vaccines in the past have eradicated diseases like small pox from the world, and debilitating conditions like polio, to a great extent. So, to negate the efficiency of vaccines using half-baked theories, would be tragic.
Till we meet again – get vaccinated at the earliest, and encourage everyone around you to do the same. And yes, please stay safe, follow the protocols and always, check your facts.
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