India’s Covid-19 Battle
The mission to vaccinate India’s 90 crore adult population before the end of 2021 requires the vaccination of one crore adults on a daily basis. These targets, while ambitious, seem possible if recent trends continue. Last week one crore eligible adults were vaccinated on two consecutive days which marked a significant achievement. Additionally, last week also saw the highest number of vaccinations for a single day. As things currently stand 50 % of the eligible population has at least taken the first dose of vaccination. These are all positive trends that may lead to the completion of the vaccinations by the end of this year. Moreover the increased rates of vaccinations prove that the governments have largely come to terms with the herculean task of vaccinating the nation and the general population has also shown enormous enthusiasm. Hence, it can now be claimed that the state has set up a proper mechanism for vaccination while any apprehension that the general public may have had regarding the vaccination process has largely dissipated.
While the above mentioned facts point to a positive trend one cannot forget the past and hence proceed cautiously. While it is a fact that 50 % of the eligible population has taken at least the first dose, the proportion of people who have taken two doses remains significantly lower. This presents a major medical and logistical concern. First and foremost as long as people don’t complete their vaccination they remain vulnerable to the virus. Secondly, if an individual contracts covid in between the process of vaccination, that requires a gap of 84 days in between the first and the second dose, it can lead to further delays that may lead to the creation of a logistical nightmare both for the individual and the government. Lastly and most importantly the government and the general public have to be mindful of the threat posed by the delta variant of the virus. There is no guarantee that the pre-existing vaccines are going to be useful when faced with the threats brought on by the delta variant. It is necessary for the government to be patient especially when it comes to lifting restrictions. While the recent increase in the rate of vaccination is an encouraging sign it is not enough to stop a third wave due and dismissing the threat of a third wave without a guarantee would push this country into certain crisis. At this point of time the country requires strong and collective leadership irrespective of party affiliation. The recent trends in relation to vaccinations have to be understood as an opportunity to do away with the pandemic that has shaken the very foundation of this nation, but for that to happen we need to make our small victories count. During the last two waves the Indian society was guilty of being too impatient and that impatience prevented us from fully doing away with this pandemic. Hence, while we have secured a small victory, we need to capitalise on this rather than being impatient.