Its time for national conservation on how to live with the virus

Synopsis: The goal is not to eliminate the infection, but to reduce sickness and mortality.

Introduction

This article highlights the impact of Covid on people’s lives and what can be expected in the future. Given that virus is constantly evolving, how we shape our policies is crucial for a healthy society.

What are the limitations of the vaccination process?

Not properly immune: Vaccination does not eliminate our chance of being infected. The current regime of vaccination offers neither “herd immunity” nor long-term protection.

Variants with the vaccinated and non-vaccinated person: Even after the vaccination, it was found that a person affected with delta variant has similar viral loads as persons who are not vaccinated.

The threat of further transmission and mutation: New study shows that delta variant can spread even in the absence of symptoms. And so, vaccination will not stop further transmission and there will be the threat of new mutations taking place.

Waning immunity with time: It now appears that vaccine-induced immunity wanes with time. A recent example is of Israel, which was once lauded for achieving very high levels of vaccination coverage, but is now experiencing another wave.

What will be the way forward?

Prioritize public resources for vaccinating only the vulnerable, such as the elderly and those with co-morbidities, and all frontline workers

Investment: Government should invest in infectious disease surveillance, community-based supportive care and peripheral hospital critical care.

It is time for collective and collaborative action where all the stakeholders/experts like social scientists, political leaders, representatives of civil society etc should come up together to find the right path towards fully reopening our society.

Source: This post is based on the article “It’s time for a national conversation on how to live with the virus” published in the Indian Express on 7th   September 2021.

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