Sunday, April 18, 2021

COVID #VaccinesSaveLives #VaccinesWork

In January, India started vaccinating frontline workers. My brother, a practising physician, told me that I only needed my medical council license to get the shot. After asking him to call me when he was going to get vaccinated I decided that I didn't need it on priority then. I was not at risk of serious disease because of my age and health and I always wear a mask.

In a few weeks, the misinformation on vaccination started. So did the jokes on the Prime Minister for not vaccinating himself. As a leader, PM Modi should have vaccinated himself first. I am sure his team must have evaluated the pros and cons. If he had vaccinated himself first he may have faced criticism for being selfish. But, the delay allowed political opponents to sow seeds of doubt that he was waiting due to fear.

Again, I evaluated, whether to get myself vaccinated and influence people around me. Or, to wait my turn. I felt conflicted about taking up someone else's turn. I was also confused about whether I was up in my head over-rating the influence I had. I decided to wait. In the meanwhile, my parents got vaccinated and the second wave started showing signs. I started urging people to go vaccinate themselves, their parents, and grandparents.

Recently I came to know I had to travel for work and went and got myself vaccinated immediately. I thought with over 10 crore people vaccinated in India there was no need to take a #VaccineSelfie. This morning, an alarmed friend pointed me to a series of posts by a former colleague. The posts reeked of irresponsible misinformation, conspiracy theories, and 'expert' opinions. I have been deeply troubled since.

In India, we know 1.5 crore people got affected by COVID-19 of whom over 1.77 lakh have lost their lives. At the end of March, there were 180 deaths due to AEFI Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI). While India had vaccinated 6 crore people then, now it's at 12 crores. Do the math for yourself you are 4,000 more likely to die of COVID compared to vaccination. The benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risks, and many more illnesses and deaths would occur without vaccines.

In the next few weeks-months, vaccines may become more widely available. If you are lucky, you may come to know of vaccines available at the end of the day at a vaccination centre near you. Or if you live in a city that's silently vaccinating everyone (ref) go get yourself vaccinated.

Trust in science, don't believe in fake news. Be responsible, don't spread misinformation. I am #Covishielded. Get Vaccinated when your turn comes #VaccinesSaveLives #VaccinesWork

Also, you will find this short video informative on #Covid vaccines #MustWatch

If you are cynical about data from India, please do note that Covishield is manufactured in India under license from AstraZeneca. The vaccine is administered in other countries as well, I will be updating this post with further references

Canada has reported 2 AEFI after 700,000 injections - Reference

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