Considering the fact that COVID cases continue to rise in and around the world and while the young and the elderly are struggling to keep themselves safe from the deadly virus, COVID vaccines have become the need of the hour and there is no way ahead without them.
According to Dr. Tushar Tayal, Department of Internal Medicine, CK Birla Hospital, Gurgaon, getting the COVID vaccination – for all eligible age groups – is extremely important. He says, “Only after a large percentage of the population is vaccinated, can we develop a herd immunity which may halt the spread of COVID infection.” “Secondly, after vaccination, the chances of catching infection or developing serious illness goes down significantly,” he adds.
Dr. Pavithra Venkatagopalan, a PhD scholar in Microbiology and Coronavirus Studies, believes that India is at a slightly more advantageous position when it comes to vaccine availability and distribution as compared to our European counterparts. Keeping the number of cases in mind, she says, “We are at the beginning of the second wave.” “We are in a position of slight advantage where the vaccine is now being largely available and distributed to the most vulnerable population i.e. the senior citizens, the people with comorbidities, which is why it is very important for them to protect themselves,” she adds.
Delving deeper into the question of whether or not one must get a COVID vaccine, Dr. Lancelot Pinto, Consultant Pulmonologist, P.D Hinduja Hospital & MRC, says, “I think it is very important to get the vaccine from a community-level perspective. An individual may argue that by virtue of being young or not having comorbidities, the vaccine may not offer much to her/him, but there is no way that we, as a community, can protect the vulnerable in society without mass-vaccination. We simply cannot protect the elderly, if the productive and highly social young individuals aren’t protected.”