Finding a cure and getting a vaccine has definitely been the most talked about topic in 2020, second only to the pandemic itself of course. With the announcement of the 3 vaccines, people were anxious in knowing which was the best one out there. However, with allergic reactions being reported as a side effect of the Pfizer vaccine, people have become more sceptic about the need for a vaccine.
Until mid-September, India had seen a scary rise in everyday Covid-19 cases until it eventually became the 2nd worst affected country during this pandemic in the world after the United States. However, since then we have seen a downward trend of cases with fewer than 40,000 cases being reported every day. While over 10 million people have been infected by this deathly virus in India, the United States has still been suffering from a steady increase of over a million new cases every day. Even the UK, has been badly hit with the second wave of rising covid cases as it enters a lockdown for the third time!
These times have caused the vaccines to be fast-tracked by various Government’s to ensure it’s citizens are vaccinated at the earliest. The US and the UK have already begun the rollout of the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine for its citizens on an emergency basis. Even the Indian government has been set in releasing the vaccine in the country to people who are more susceptible to being exposed to the virus and above the age of 50.
However, a survey conducted by LocalCirclers brought a rather bizarre fact to light. According to New Delhi’s citizen survey, over 69% of the surveyed people found no urgent need in getting immunised against Covid.
A statement was released by them saying “It appears some of the key reasons for the hesitancy are limited information about side-effects, efficacy levels and a growing belief in parts of the population that Covid cannot affect them because of their high immunity levels .” Many people in the survey, which had responses from nearly a third of India's districts, said they believed "we are moving towards herd immunity".
While it’s tempting to believe that we have reached herd immunity and it’s tougher for us to contract coronavirus, experts have said that we are still a long way from achieving it. The downward spike in cases could be because of the lockdown and increased protective measures that many of us took, but scientists also say that India too could be facing a second way if people become lax about taking precautions while interacting with people in public especially with restrictions being eased and a number of holidays coming up.
People’s hesitation to take the vaccine could also be because of the various conspiracy theories about the vaccine that have been circulating the internet. Recently, rumours about the vaccine being able to alter our DNA has grabbed everyone’s attention. A video went viral which stated that the Pfizer, which is an mRNA synthesised vaccine, could alter human DNA. However, scientists were quick to debunk this false information by stating that it is scientifically impossible. Another rumour that was making rounds on the internet was the ‘microchip theory’ about the vaccine. Anti-vaxxer’s begun a rumour that mandatory vaccination would be implemented onto people so that they could be implemented with microchips that would be used to track them. This rumour was in relation to the vaccine that was funded by the Gates Foundation but Bill Gates was quick to address these rumours and state that there is no scientific evidence that is their intention or if it was even possible.
While these anti-vax theories may seem absurd, a study found that over 46% of Americans actually believed it. This could also be a significant reason in people believing they ‘don’t need’ a vaccine. While the vaccine’s that are currently in the market do not have a 100% chance at immunising you, it is still a better option than being completely vulnerable to the coronavirus.