Yes, Harbhajan, India Needs COVID-19 Vaccine Despite High Recovery
Talking about the different vaccines for COVID-19, cricketer Harbhajan Singh questioned the need for a vaccine for the Indian population, given its high recovery rate.
However, the goal of a vaccine is to prevent infection caused by the virus and to avoid hospitalisations and complications, it has nothing to do with the recovery rate.
Singh tweeted the different efficiency rates of the vaccines and said -
“PFIZER AND BIOTECH Vaccine: Accuracy *94%
Moderna Vaccine: Accuracy *94.5%
Oxford Vaccine: Accuracy *90%
Indian Recovery rate (Without Vaccine): 93.6%
Do we seriously need vaccine”
Singh’s tweet received over 22,000 likes and thousands of retweets. Several other Twitter users also tweeted the same message shortly after Singh’s tweet.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
India’s recovery rate from COVID-19 is extremely high and is expected to be higher once the final count is completed. However, that does not mean that India will not require a vaccine. COVID-19 has resulted in the deaths of at least 1,39,000 people in the country as of reporting for this story. Vaccinating the population will make sure that people are not exposed to the virus, thus, preventing hospitalisations and death.
Moreover, recovering from COVID-19 does not mean a person has returned to her/his normal condition. Studies have shown the lingering effects of the disease on the patients in what is termed as “long COVID”. A report published in the British Medical Journal said that 45 per cent of people admitted with COVID-19 would need ongoing support.
WHY DO WE NEED THE VACCINE?
Vaccination is a safe and effective way of preventing oneself from getting a harmful disease. Vaccines help build resistance to specific infections and makes our immune system stronger. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organisation, vaccines save between 2 and 3 million lives every year. Vaccinations are more important in developing countries which are prone to several diseases because of the population and hygiene issues.
Despite being one of the biggest manufacturers and exporters of vaccines, India still has a substantial number of children who didn’t receive the required vaccines. In the absence of vaccines, diseases like measles, meningitis, pneumonia, tetanus and polio may return and cause serious illnesses and disabilities. Moreover, infections can easily cross boundaries and spread across the country and the world.
Several vaccine candidates have reported being at least 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. This means that people in the trial who had been given the vaccine were 90% less likely to get the virus than those who didn’t get the vaccine.
The UK became the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use after it allowed the emergency use of BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine.
Therefore, a high recovery rate does not mean that a vaccine is not required. We still need that vaccine as they are essential to prevent COVID-19 hospitalisations that overwhelm systems and millions of deaths.
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