The weak link - GulfToday

The weak link


The maximum credit goes to the pharma companies for discovering vaccines in about nine to ten months.

It is now a year that the World Health Organisation declared Coronavirus to be epidemic. It has taken a massive toll of the world in terms of human life with 118 million infected and 2.6 million fatalities, led by the US and Brazil. The world economy has ground to a virtual halt, with millions losing their jobs.

This tragedy teaches us, that nations must cooperate and live with each other to survive. If the disease continues in any country, it can spread again. Everyone is at risk.

The maximum credit goes to the pharma companies and scientists who have managed to discover vaccines in about nine to ten months. However, distributing the vaccines among countries has been decided by the financial prowess of nations, with richer nations getting priority.

The delivery of vaccines to citizens, “The Last Mile” has also been very slow. Large countries like India have just vaccinated about two per cent of the people, in about two months. The process needs to be accelerated. Governments needs to decentralise the dissemination of vaccines to local municipalities, health clinics, private hospital and doctors.  Unless the vaccination drive becomes a mass movement, we will have a resurgence of the disease in some areas. For instance, some states in India have commenced lockdowns in selected districts.

Unless the vaccinations are speeded, 2021 could also be a weak year. Without mass vaccination there can be no herd immunity. If the disease persists, even in small measures, people will  be reluctant to travel or work. Then, how will factories start or employment get generated?

Even the IT tools recommended by governments do not work satisfactorily. It takes hours to register to get an appointment, then there is a struggle to get an SMS confirming the vaccine. Finally, it takes days to get the vaccination certificate. The entire processing should be out-sourced to some good IT company.

The vaccines are here, now. We cannot fail in “the last mile” delivery.

Rajendra Aneja
Mumbai, India

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