#5 Vaccine Hesitancy

This week has been overwhelming with the second surge of Covid in India. And even though the vaccines are being made available for people to get and India being one of the fastest vaccine producers, there has still been a surge in the country because of the large masses of unvaccinated people.

Some folks are getting affected after getting the vaccine which discourages others. Do vaccines work? Is it safe to go to the vaccination centers? The only way out of the covid spike at the moment are the vaccines, not just for India but for the whole world.

The covid vaccines do work and researches have shown that it’s quite rare to get the virus after you’ve been vaccinated and even if you do, there are very few chances of it being life-threatening. It is important to know that only two or four people out of 10,000 can get covid after vaccination and the number of breakthrough infections are very small in number and are not worrisome.

Even after getting both doses, wearing masks and following the guidelines is essential until the majority of the country gets vaccinated. Its due to this surge that the vaccination process will be delayed and affected. India not only needs to get more vaccines but also, needs to make the process faster. In an article disusing this, Dr Rosenbaum writes,

“Of course, people who are determined to undermine confidence in vaccines will always find ways to spread misinformation. But a much larger proportion of the population may be willing to get vaccinated given the proper reassurances, and dismissing their concerns often leaves them seeking someone to validate them.

I suspect that’s one reason why correcting misinformation often falls short. Some people, for instance, may truly believe that vaccines cause autism. But for others, this ostensible fear may mask less easily expressed needs such as maintaining one’s identity, belonging to a group, or simply being heard. And yet respecting these more basic instincts also raises an uncomfortable question: At what point does empathy sacrifice scientific truth?”

Now personally, I know that vaccines are not 100% effective but it does prevent people from being hospitalized. And the surge is caused by fewer beds in hospitals and more infected people. At least 80 -85% of the people need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and places being close to normal. The good news is that the hesitancy rate in India now down to 23%.

Still, many people need to be educated. At this stage, it’s significant to overcome any vaccine hesitancy and participate in protecting yourself and the people around you.