Covid-19: Citizens must take the jab | HT Editorial
Anyone above the age of 45 can now get a coronavirus vaccine in India. The wait for these doses began on March 2, 2020, when the outbreak was confirmed to have taken hold in the country. For most of the 162,981 lives lost (as on March 31, 2021) to Sars-Cov-2 since then, these injections would have meant a shot at survival. The correlation has been clear in countries such as Israel and the United Kingdom, where high per capita vaccinations have led to a sharp drop in not just fatalities but also hospitalisations in age groups given doses on priority. Real world data reinforces what multiple clinical trials have shown repeatedly — the coronavirus vaccines are a safe and effective tool to combat the pandemic.
For India, the scale of the challenge is much bigger than other countries because of its sheer size. A data-based analysis, published in this newspaper on Thursday, has shown that at an average rate of four million doses a day, it will take till mid-June to fully inoculate 100 million Indians. In a country of over 1.3 billion people, even that might not be enough to turn the tide against the second wave on its own. But it will undoubtedly help in lowering the fatality ratio, which, in turn, will reduce the load on hospitals and, ultimately, make the pandemic less lethal, help keep cities open, and bring back some semblance of normalcy.
These gains are clear and they far outweigh any risks that may be exaggerated by misinformation and unscientific beliefs. While the government must be more aggressive in its vaccination approach, citizens have a crucial role. The more Indians step up, the quicker these gains will fructify. Take the jab.