(The article with title “Corona will become like cold and cough due to maximum vaccination, awareness is still the only defense” was originally published on Dainik Bhaskar)
Corona has wreaked havoc all over the world, causing health, economic and social upheaval. In the second year of the pandemic, people want reassurance that the worst is over and normalcy can be restored soon. Vaccines have given us and the world a sense of security. Vaccines are now being made available to all, but to get closer to normal life, masks, distance, and ventilation will have to be strictly adopted.
After the maximum number of people are vaccinated, the epidemic will turn into a common cold or flu-like illness. Full vaccination will take place around the end of this year. But, before that, we can get back to our normal life, if we follow some important COVID-appropriate steps and help others in this too.
Our roadmap to achieve these goals requires the full participation and leadership of the four sections of society. This is the Government of India, the State Governments, the media including social media, and all of us. The most important thing is that there should be maximum awareness in homes, villages, towns, districts, states, and the whole country and we should stay away from lies and rumours.
If only a few people around us will get the vaccine, the unvaccinated people will have a lot of opportunities to spread the virus. Therefore, there should be complete vaccination. The rate of vaccination has increased in our country, if we continue the rate of more than 6 million doses per day, we can achieve our target by the end of the year or early next year. We have to ensure that no eligible person is left behind.
I give two examples [of how effective the vaccines are]. CMC, Vellore vaccinated 84.8% of its employees between 21 January 2021 and 30 April 2021 (1). The risk of infection among fully vaccinated employees was found to be significantly lower than those of non-vaccinated employees. The number of hospitalizations, the need for oxygen therapy, and ICU admissions were reduced with two doses. The protective effect of vaccination in preventing infection was 65%. Also, it reduced hospitalizations by 77%, oxygen requirement by 92%, and ICU admissions by 94%. A post-vaccination study among 123 employees of Fortis C-DOC Centre, New Delhi found that the infection remained mild or asymptomatic (2). This means the vaccines work! We can still get infected after vaccination, but the vaccine protects us by reducing the severity of the disease.
“This means the vaccines work! We can still get infected after vaccination, but the vaccine protects us by reducing the severity of the disease.”
It is necessary to use masks, ensure ventilation, and maintain distance. Wearing a mask properly can reduce the risk of infection by up to 80%. Good ventilation will also reduce the risk of infection. We must ensure that high-quality masks are available to all. Also, small exhaust fans should be used to ventilate homes and workplaces.
It is mainly the work of the Central and State Governments to ensure the vaccine reaches everyone. It is our job to accept vaccines and get vaccinated. Together we can end this pandemic and we can rebuild our lives and take care of our health.