Hurdles in the way of vaccinating one and all against COVID-19-reviewing the challenges for vaccination against COVID-19

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Meghna Visariya, a first-year medical student at Grant Government medical college, Mumbai, India. She has completed her schooling in Mumbai, India. She 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.

Vaccination that has reduced the rate of global infectious diseases by 95% since decades seems a promising strategy to tackle COVID-19. In the new age of COVID-19 nobody is safe till everybody is safe. Deploying vaccines to everybody involves major challenges which can be grouped in 3 categories – efficiency of vaccine candidate, health care services to deliver the vaccine and vaccine hesitancy.

         Vaccine development is fraught with possibilities for failure and rapid development has put many in dilemma for its efficiency. Also, efficiency of vaccines on people with diabetes, obesity is yet to be sought. It isn’t clear how well some vaccines protect against severe COVID-19, also it is not much to what extent the vaccines prevent those who have been vaccinated from passing the virus on to others. The emergence of the new variants of COVID-19 further adds to the problem for the vaccination and suggests to be one step ahead of the virus and promote R&D.

              Vaccine production is notably less as compared to the demand. This is leading to a race between countries to secure vaccine supply for their own population, but this approach risks pushing countries to the back of the queue if they can’t afford to make deals with manufacturers, and leaving many of those who are most vulnerable to the virus unprotected. A number of countries — most of them wealthy — have already pre-ordered nearly four billion vaccine doses and have options for a further 5 billion, at the current prices. COVAX, a global alliance seeking to ensure that low- and middle-income countries get adequate vaccine provision, has been able to secure vaccines for only around 250 million people — far below what is needed. Transportation of vaccines is a big hurdle owing to lack of facilities to maintain proper temperature. Administration of vaccines requires trained health care staff the access to which is scarce in the geographically difficult terrains and war borders.

Vaccine hesitancy has been markedly increasing in the past years. Personal or psychological reasons, religious concerns,safety concerns desire for more information will lead to people not getting vaccinated at all or delaying the per the surveys conducted people are more likeable to get vaccinate when all the information is being provided to them and they are allowed to make choice and when recognition is availed by the vaccine from the international body.they need transparency from the recognised body about every data before being vaccinated and are constantly in fear of the unconsented trial that might occur owing to their lack of knowledge.

There are various dilemmas which are being faced by the government as well as health care workers like single dose of vaccine to all or follow up doses to some, at the same time maintaining records is difficult.

There are many such challenges which vaccination has revealed to us. The global unity and transparency at this time along with mass education will bring in confidence and mark our victory against this pandemic.

About the author

Meghna Visariya is a first-year medical student at Grant Government medical college,Mumbai,India.She has completed her schooling is Mumbai.She is local officer at Standing committee of medical education at MSAI which is affiliated to IFMSA.She has an inquisitive mind and believes that together we can transform the lives and overcome challenges.

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