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    The Importance of COVID-19 Vaccination (2021 Update)

    The Importance of COVID-19 Vaccination (2021 Update)

    Earlier in March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. It has been estimated that the virus has claimed more than 2.5 million lives across the globe. More so, the cases are increasing rapidly where 113 million cases have been confirmed in March 2021.

    The pandemic has affected almost all aspects of life causing global economies to stumble, changing the way we interact with our closed ones or the way we work. Moreover, it has stretched healthcare systems. This has resulted in the implementation of strict restriction in human activities in order to stop the spread of the virus.

    In order to transition out of the pandemic, COVID-19 vaccination seems to be like the only savior. As per various healthcare experts, the phenomenon of natural herd immunity is not enough to transition back to the normal status quo. Moreover, it has also resulted in a high fatality ratio. This has often been voiced by the healthcare professionals alongside the WHO. In case, there is no access to vaccines, governments will be forced to take strict behavioral measures for the times to come.

    Luckily, from the start of 2021, many vaccines have been granted emergency approval where they are surfacing in countries across the globe. It has been estimated that as of 2021, almost 300 million vaccine doses have been administered across the globe. These numbers promise a better future and the path to return to normal. The downside to the emergency approval is that the COVID-19 vaccine faces several hindrances that may affect the overall efficacy.

    Efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination

    At present, a total of seven COVID-19 vaccination are available across three platforms that are approved and being used worldwide. However, some people question the efficacy of the vaccines particularly due to the new strain of the virus. The core purpose of these vaccines is to be significant successful in reducing the spread of the virus.

    According to recent researches, the Mrna and Moderna Pfizer vaccines are almost 95% effective. These number have proven to be effective even amongst elderly and critical patients. It needs to be understood that it is a misconception that 95% of the individuals who get vaccinated will remain protected from the virus, leaving the remaining 5% unprotected. In actuality, the 95% efficacy means that people who are vaccinated have a 96% lower rate of contracting the virus in comparison to a controlled group.

    Without getting vaccinated, it is estimated that almost 1% of the population will catch the diseases. However, with the vaccine, the ratio drops to 0.05%. At such a low rate, the vaccine will make it easier for the society to revert to normal and the restrictions to be removed permanently.

    Evolution of SARS-CoV-2 virus

    The recent vaccines have proved to be extremely effective against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strain. As per the recent data, emergence of several mutational strains has resulted in severity of the pandemic. Due to these mutations, there is uncertainty whether the vaccine will protect against the stronger variants.

    According to WHO, the current vaccines offer some protection against the new variants. The have also mentioned that more data is being collected and analyzed on the newer variants. With time, healthcare providers will be able to modify the already approved vaccines to combat the variants. As we acquire more data, researchers will be able to amend the current vaccine so that in the future they are able to protect against the strains. Booster shots may be given to ensure that the level of protection is met to stop the virus from spreading.

    In order to stop the virus from mutating, it is thereby necessary to acquire herd immunity through vaccination globally. The population needs to become more resistant to the vaccine restricting the probability of mass fatality

    The Public opinion of COVID-19 vaccination

    One of the primary barriers against the success of COVID-19 vaccination is the negative opinion of masses on the vaccine. According to a survey conducted in June 2020, 71.5% people were keen to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot. This means, a third of the population was skeptical of the vaccine.

    If a majority of the masses were to reject the vaccine, this can have serious repercussion on controlling the spread of COVID-19. Moreover, some nationalities in general have a poor acceptance rate of the vaccine. This includes Russia, where 45% of the people have rejected the vaccine.

    The obstacles can be overcome by spreading awareness of the importance of COVID-19 vaccines and being transparent about the development mechanism of the vaccine. Moreover, the adverse effects of the vaccines need to be communicated. By educating the people, you garner their trust. If this trust is not established, the world will not be able to combat the pandemic and return to normalcy.