- The pandemic is here to stay for longer is obvious by the fact that the universe is witnessing second, and possibly a third wave in many countries crippling the economy as well as livelihoods of people who are battling it out bravely amid tremendous hardships. Though humankind heaved a sigh of relief with the invention of several vaccines to stave off the challenges posed by the menacing virus, humanity is still subjected to debilitating difficulties rendering every effort undertaken by the authorities to severe testing. The Indian government did a commendable job earlier in restricting the virus from spreading far and wide duly recognized by the entire world.
PC: Prerna Sindwani
- The scientific community deserves a special appreciation for developing the vaccine in record time to combat the menacing virus from creating further havoc. The Indian authorities too were presented with the choice of two vaccines which were promptly taken up for immunization keeping in mind the urgency of the situation. Mind you, there was always a fear of the second wave striking the country with a vengeance and the healthcare authorities have learned immense lessons from the first wave experience which was controlled with limited resources at disposal back then. Uncertainty and unknown factors have been gradually replaced with set protocols now.
- The authorities have emerged wiser what with the vaccines expected to essay prominent role henceforth. However, everything does not appear to be heading in the right direction as envisaged going by the pace at which the vaccination drive is meandering along covering an extremely low percentage of intended beneficiaries. The government’s move to categorize people, though well-intentioned on paper, is failing to resonate reasonably on the ground as apprehensions, anxiety, and rumor-mongering are hindering the vaccination drive from briskly moving ahead. What has also compounded the situation is the technical glitches of the Co-WIN app and ill-advised move to exercise centralized control over immunization efforts.
PC: Kritika Bansal
- Besides this, the Union government’s move to distribute vaccines to many countries as a goodwill gesture, popularly referred to as vaccine diplomacy, is being increasingly viewed as a luxurious indulgence best avoided as the country’s citizens are facing obstacles in receiving the elixir of life. There is no denying the fact that India’s soft power is well projected through praiseworthy initiatives like vaccine diplomacy by being the vaccine manufacturing capital of the world. Nevertheless, failing to ensure the vaccines are available aplenty for the citizens to get inoculated serves little purpose by giving further ammunition to the opposition to corner the government.
- Therefore, it is advised the government prioritize action plans vis-à-vis expanding the vaccination drive to cover the majority of the population by freeing up the stringent control over the drive. Allowing people aged above 21 years to get inoculated should be considered straightway. Involving more and more private healthcare entities should be the norm alongside public facilities. Indications are quite apparent that the country is in the grip of a second wave as witnessed by the surge seen across. Uninterrupted vaccination drive alone will be a huge step in combating the virus.