Life-saving vaccines

No place for vax hesitancy as third wave looms large

Life-saving vaccines

Photo for representation only. - File photo

THE Covid-19 tracker data cited by the Centre on Thursday leaves no room for doubt about the life-saving capability of vaccines. According to the tracker, developed by synergising data from the Co-WIN portal, the national Covid testing database and the Covid India portal, the effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing mortality is 96.6 per cent after the first dose and 97.5 per cent following the second shot. These encouraging figures should suffice to make the doubters shed vaccine hesitancy and get themselves jabbed at the earliest.

The second wave that peaked in May could have caused far less devastation, had more people been protected against the worst outcomes. Worryingly, less than 20 per cent of India’s adult population has been fully vaccinated so far, almost nine months after the inoculation programme was launched nationwide. More than 1 crore doses need to be given on a daily basis to achieve the stiff target of completely vaccinating all adults by the year-end. With the festive season coming up and India’s most populous state (Uttar Pradesh) going to the polls along with four others early next year, the pace of vaccination must be accelerated to ensure that the third wave is not a repeat of the second one. Considering the risk of breakthrough infection, the importance of following Covid-appropriate behaviour even after vaccination cannot be overemphasised.

India can take a cue from the US, where desperate measures are being initiated to make about 25 per cent of eligible Americans – nearly 8 crore people – see reason. US President Joe Biden has asserted that this significant proportion — which is still unvaccinated — poses a threat to the gains made in the fight against Covid-19. He has directed the Labour Department to make it mandatory for all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workers are either vaccinated or tested once a week. Companies face the prospect of paying thousands of dollars in fines per employee if they don’t comply. America’s daily caseload has crossed 1.5 lakh, almost five times India’s current figure, but we can’t afford to let the virus wreak havoc all over again. 


Also read: Biden slams anti-vax movement, mandates widespread shots, tests
71 cr vaccinated across country: Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri

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