COVID-19 Vaccination: The beginning of the End

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Kshitij Manchanda, a Second Year Medical Student of Government Medical College Surat. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

COVID-19 has been and is still amongst the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced, but alas, it is not over yet. One might think that surviving through the most rapid phase of spreading of the virus and then waiting for the vaccine was the toughest part but that isn’t completely true. COVID-19 is not just a very hard slap on the face from which we can recover easily. It is a push, a very hard push from which we might still be falling down. Preventing that further fall has been accomplished in many places across the world and we are just beginning to try to get up.

Vaccination is the largest logistical challenge we have ever faced. The task to send vaccines to every corner of the world in such a short amount of time is as such difficult but also meeting the temperature and handling requirements is on another level. Delaying a dress you ordered on Amazon is quite annoying, now imagine the delay of a life saving vaccine. Mind you this delay is not only for you, it’s for the whole community. Slight mishandling of the vaccine could be the difference in not even meeting your family and in going on a vacation with them.

It is important for us, as citizens, to understand the challenge our nations have undertaken. For a common man, this might be hard to comprehend. One might think if Amazon, a private company can deliver my package in a day or two, why can’t my government deliver it to me with the whole country’s support. The important fact we miss is that it’s not just ‘me’. Governments have to deliver vaccines to each and every person in the most unbiased way possible.

This issue is further complicated by mistrust that people have developed against their government. People have the full right to criticize their governments, but in situations of an unprecedented crisis like this we have to understand that the governments have tried their best, even if the outcome has been sub-par. We have to understand that it has been a very difficult job and mistakes were inevitable. But also trust that mistakes were avoided as far as possible and keep faith.

The vaccination campaigns that have started have only begun after a thorough clinical trial. We should not let prior uncertainty with the virus cloud our judgement. We have the right to question, but that doesn’t give us the right to spread inaccurate information about the vaccine without prior proof. We should understand that the COVID response is and will not be perfect like almost every aspect of one’s life, but it is the best that we have got. We should trust our government and if we have any doubts we should bring them up to our constituent representatives before spreading mistrust and rumors. The only thing worse than “No response” is an “Uncoordinated response.”

About the author

Kshitij Manchanda is a Second Year Medical Student of Government Medical College Surat. He likes to write articles and in general voice his opinions. He believes that there is always a way to make learning fun. He aims to participate in as many competitions, experiences and research opportunities as possible to make studentship rewarding and exciting.

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