Irrationality of vaccine skeptics

Some of those who had received the Covaxin or Covishield shot got Covid-19, so what is the use? But then some of the bike riders wearing helmet get hurt or even killed in accidents, so why wear a helmet?

Ravi Shanker Kapoor |

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, along with his wife took first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, in in New Delhi on March 2 (PIB)

Human behavior is certainly far more complex than the novel coronavirus. Reluctance to get vaccinated clearly proves that.

Of all the skeptical arguments made against vaccination is: some of those who had received the Covaxin or Covishield shot got Covid-19, so what is the use? The answers are a number of questions: Some of the bike riders wearing helmet get hurt or even killed in accidents, so what is the use of taking precautions? Some of the security personnel battling terrorists at hit by bullets despite wearing bullet-proof jackets, so why should they wear them at all?

Vaccine skepticism would have been somewhat rational had there were common and severe side effects. Crores of people in India have been vaccinated, and there are hardly any reports of serious complications because of the jabs, let alone deaths.

Further, the doubters would have had a case had the vaccine been exorbitantly priced. Quite the contrary, any citizen can get the shot free of cost from the government hospital or clinic. Even those opting for private hospitals have to shell out just Rs 250, or even less, for a shot. Rs 500 is not something people can’t afford for a shield against a deadly disease.

But doubts, and doubters, persist. It takes years to develop a vaccine, but the corona vaccines have come within a year. How? In fact, the website of the Ministry of Health has specifically answered this question: “Developing a vaccine generally involves years of research. First, we need a vaccine candidate that is evaluated in animals for its safety and efficacy. After a vaccine candidate passes a pre- clinical trial, it enters the clinical trial phase. While scientists have worked round the clock in the laboratory, even regulatory approvals which used to take several months have been fast tracked. It helped eliminate all the time lapses between the pre-clinical and clinical trial stages. Earlier, the vaccine development involved a series of steps, but in the case of the coronavirus vaccine, the scientists and regulators worked in tandem, accelerating the whole process without compromises on any protocols and any step” (emphasis added).

While it is true that politicians running various governments are not the paragons of virtue, they are not so diabolical as to risk millions of lives to dangerously expedite a process that serves no purpose of theirs. Besides, they are not the only ones who run government; there are bureaucrats, experts, doctors, etc.

Doubt we must the statements and claims made by politicians but doubting should be grounded in rationality, for unbridled skepticism has unpleasant consequences. Like unwillingness to get vaccinated.

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