Taking Covid19 Vaccination in India

I got my first dose of vaccination on the 18th of March 2021. Except a slight body ache, everything seems to be fine. Till the very end, my husband debated on the prospects of taking it but when I finally said I will do it, he quietly joined me. As I am taking blood thinner and it was reported earlier on TV to consult the doctor, he was skeptic. But when I told my cardiologist, I have a question, even before I could shoot the question he said: yes you can take the jab. He said people have been asking the same question… TV janarige tale-sari illa!!!

As the world was caught by surprise with the Covid virus, and was grossly underprepared to deal with such a dreaded challenge ensured in panic and chaos all over the world, many places had collapsed medical facilities and over flowing cemetery and crematorium. Our Indian government had not only taken the bold decision for early lockdown against all the negative publicity from every possible quarter.

Being called the pharmacy of the world, India is also the vaccine powerhouse and it makes 60% of the world’s vaccine. Our generous manufacturers joined hands and we lived up to our reputation, with the government encouraging homegrown vaccines like Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as Covishield in India. While the country launched the world’s largest inoculation effort that too at free of cost, India also supplied/supplying the vaccine to neighbouring countries and host of other nations – so far 51 nations. Without aiming to cash in on others misery, for some it was given free and to most at a very nominal price, what is being widely described as “vaccine diplomacy”.

One year or so after it left its original area and started to spread around the world, the virus is still feasting around. While the self declared advanced nations like England, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Dutch, etc., who built their so called Empires by looting, killing, convert, slavery and racially discriminating the innocent around the world, were surprised to see that there was something invisible more powerful than they could ever be! Mrs. and Mr. Cornona Virus has been spinning them on its little finger, oppressing the oppressors, ravaging their health care system and bulldozing their economy pushing it decades behind. Though India also faced with similar problems, while the advanced nations are still struggling with shortage of vaccines and other facilities India rose up to the occasion and has been lending a helping hand. It is something every Indian should be proud of.

The success of both the vaccine and future of the humanity is yet to be seen. With all the hands pointing to one source still it is not clear when or how the virus surfaced which has been mutating endlessly. AIDs was blamed on the monkeys, the humans ancestors and the Covid arrived from the wet markets! There was Spanish flu, Swine flu, Bird flu, etc., could Covid-19 termed as Man flu? Whether the mysterious virus was brewed in labs or not will always remain a mystery. However, unlike the previous diseases which caught the poorer nations, similar the modern trend, the virus seems to have an affinity to rich and the famous.

According to the reports, Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine which means that it is made up of killed corona viruses, with a sample from India’s National Institute of Virology, making it safe to be injected into the body. When administered immune cells can still recognize the dead virus, prompting the immune system to make antibodies against the virus. The two doses are given four weeks apart. The vaccine can be stored at 2C to 8C about the same as a domestic refrigerator.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured locally by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. The vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from Chimpanzees. (Cool help from our ancestors!) it has been modified to look more like coronavirus although it can’t cause illness. When the vaccine is injected into a patient, it prompts the immune system to start making antibodies and primes it to attack any Coronavirus infection. The two doses are administered between four and twelve weeks apart. Like Covaxin it can be safely stored at temperatures of 2C to 8C.

What a fantastic program it has been. Thank you Modiji and your team from scientists to ministers to health workers to volunteers and up to the watchman who stood in front of the building and everyone else in between. This is the first time in recent history that I have seen people preferring to go to government facilities than the private hospitals. Not because it is free but because of the efficient manner in which it is conducted. Private hospital jab administering charges are fixed by the central government and its costing mere Rs.250.

And it was an astounding sight which I never thought I would see in my life time. This is the second time I am amazed by what the Indian government is capable of doing when the need occurs. No matter what the critics who cannot digest the fact that India values human lives and puts their citizens first before anything else, still India is the front runner when the need arises.

First time was in October 1990 when I was airlifted free of cost along with my family from Jordan as refugees of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, after spending nine days on road and in UN camps. More than one hundred thousand Indians which entered the Guinness book of records. That was the Prime Minister Chandrasekhar’s government where Mr. I. K. Gujral played a major role as foreign minister even embracing Mr. Saddam Husain.

But this 2021 vaccination drive by the current Prime Minister Modiji and his team surpasses that previous record. What is astounding is the fact that the way it is organized, managed and planning to vaccinate its current population of 1,389,604,984 {plus give or take – more give!} which is 17.7% of the world population. As if such a need would arise in future, man of vision Modiji had pushed for digitalization drive in India which is aiding this vaccination drive. I even got my confirmation while still waiting (half an hour) in the recovery room.

The system is so well arranged and even a little child can follow the system. The orderly program maintaining the social distancing, cleanliness and other norms with world class service that too free of cost is difficult to phanthom.

Another interesting factor I witnessed is that except the wheel chair bound elders there were no preference or influence used there. There were three uniformed cops in the queue in the next lane. Not only that they had to wait like everyone else but the lady behind the desk refused to register one of them without the Aadhar card. His uniform or his police ID did not play any role.

I never voted for Modiji, but I can boldly say that he is the best thing ever happened to India in a long time and I can’t even imagine in my wildest dreams what would have happened if the dynastic scion and talking parrot was the Prime Minister instead Modiji.

Last but not the least on personal level, like how many don’t understand or refuses to understand your Farm bill, the state government influenced by timber mafia, big resorts, neighbouring state’s influence, etc., refuses to understand the difficulties of the Man-Animal conflict. The Forest department officials whose knowledge is based on books or tied by the rule of the law are not been able to handle the situation. Mr. Pratap Simha who is the district in-charge has been very efficient but has been unable to bridge the gap between the Kodagu (Coorg) problems and the government attitude. After deforestation, the re-forestation is mostly of commercial valued trees than the useful ones for the animals. Human ignorance has played a major role in the problem.  Please help implement the Kasturirangan report or at least consider the important aspects from it. If you don’t help us no one else ever will and it won’t be just bane for us but it would affect the entire South India.