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The COVID-19 virus has the entire world in its grip for the second year now. But, unlike last year, when there was no known vaccine or drug that could be used against this contagion, this year, countries across the world are equipped with vaccines that come with varying degrees of efficacy. These vaccines confer immunity on recipients and save them from severe complications of the disease. But the worry right now among the scientific community is the emergence of variants that are very infectious, and which may be immune not the current vaccines. But researchers say that as more and more people get vaccinated it will rob the virus of its ability to mutate.
People should not delay taking COVID-19 vaccine as this will give the virus an opportunity to develop new variants and some of them may reduce the efficacy of current vaccines, say healthcare experts. They believe that those not taking the vaccine are doing a great injustice to their near and dear ones. Government of India has announced that all individuals aged above 18 years would be eligible to get Covid-19 vaccination starting May 1. This must be considered as the end game for the deadly pandemic to be driven out of India, but this would not be achieved if the young and the old hesitate to take vaccine, say the experts.
A healthcare expert from Gleneagles Global Hospitals believes that the COVID-19 virus still has many hosts left to replicate in, and it has more opportunity to randomly develop new variants. Some of these variants may reduce the efficacy of the current vaccine, which is surely not a desirable scenario to be in. Hence, it is important people encourage each other to get vaccinated at the earliest and ensure the virus is driven out of our lives before it gets to us.
Vaccination for all is about controlling the pandemic at a population level through reaching herd immunity, and the objective cannot be achieved unless each and every one joins the movement and get themselves vaccinated. Fight against coronavirus requires a community effort, and everybody must step forward in and get their vaccines, so that the chain of transmission from one person to another is broken.
It is proven beyond doubt that even a single dose provides decent protection. Vaccines are highly effective in preventing hospitalisations and deaths. It is unnecessary for people to wait for a year to get vaccinated, and the longer peoples wait to observe any side-effects might only lead to developing of future virus mutants, say experts. RNA vaccines and adenovirus-based vaccines are already in phase two human trials for other infectious diseases like influenza and a different coronavirus called MERS. Scientists already have safety and immunogenicity data on similar vaccines, and it is time we trust in medical science and opt in to get vaccinated at the earliest, they add.
(With inputs from IANS)
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