- Time to beat around the bush is behind us vis-à-vis the handling of vaccination drive undertaken under the aegis of the Union Health Ministry which has consistently resorted to one bungling after another without resorting to a prudent understanding of the situation. Of course, anything berating the executive arm of the country in the present situation might be construed as unfounded rumblings with the benefits of hindsight guiding us to corner the government. However, closer examination of the evolving scenario right from the time of the first covid wave resonates with decisions that should have been based on unequivocal scientific and economic pieces of evidence rather than whimsical understandings.
PC: Tanweer Azam
- Unfortunately, kneejerk reactions and impractical solutions leaving little room for acceptable justification appear to be guiding the Union Government in its policies as the unprecedented devastation wrought about by the second covid wave is overwhelming everything under its radar. Not only the stuttering healthcare infrastructure but also measures to combat the virus menace is nothing short of myopic. It is by now quite clear that the premature celebrations of leaving the virus behind on the back of gradual decline in the confirmed infection cases did lead to complacency. Notwithstanding unabashed basking in the global appreciation for handling the first wave, the authorities should have also prepared to not let their guard down prematurely. Less said the better about the public for failing to adhere to safety protocols.
- Following the examples of other developed countries in securing the vaccination for their respective populations should also have prompted our government to act similarly. When the entire universe was berating the ham-handed and spur of the moment approach adopted by the erstwhile Donald Trump administration during the early days of the pandemic, the maverick and extremely unpredictable leader did initiate the most sensible measure in ensuring the vaccine production undertaken by a few of the pharmaceutical giants were secured for the United States of America. So did other countries like Canada which has secured vaccine stockpiles to inject seven times for its people.
PC: Brenda Sandburg
- Unfortunately, the Indian Government did neither encourage pharmaceutical giants nor agree to secure the vaccines for citizens knowing fully well that our sheer population density can become a veritable obstacle to immunize in the desired manner. Forget about securing vaccines, the Government should have ensured the local medicine producers scale up their vaccine-producing capabilities to meet the humongous demands by advancing funds. Nothing happened on this front either. After losing precious months through inaction and smugness, the choices emanating on the vaccination front are nothing less than impractical and ill-thought-out leading to the present chaos where even eligible lot are not assured of receiving the inoculation promptly.
- There is no point raking up worthless issues yielding nothing in return. The need of the hour is to accept humbly that mistakes have occurred whilst strategizing vaccination drive and to address the anomaly with a practical outlook. Firstly, postponing the drive for 18-44 years will buy precious time to inoculate over 45 years population including frontline and healthcare warriors. Immediately releasing adequate funds to scale up vaccine production to companies with a strict deadline to deliver should ensue. Clearing decks to accept foreign vaccines approved by overseas regulators on a war footing to supplement the local vaccines should be fast-tracked. The only way to stave off the challenge of the virus is to vaccinate more people in the next few months. Act now!