Production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine
With the spurt in the news about the positive progress of the vaccine in various countries, we are entering a new phase in the Covid-19 saga (“AIIMS administers first dose of COVID-19 candidate vaccine `Covaxin' to 30-year-old Delhi resident”, Gulf News, July 24). The world is beginning to realise medical tools to fight the disease. Hitherto, the responses had been of a preventive nature, like masking and social distancing.
Even if a bunch of vaccines are finalised by the last quarter of 2020, inoculating the entire global population will be an arduous task. It could take two to three years, till 2022. Thus, the economic turbulence of 2020, could spill into 2021 and a part of 2022 also.
The most critical challenge will be to build pipelines or channels of distribution from the five or six vaccine producing pharma companies, to every town and village in the world. There are about 170 vaccines under review in various laboratories around the globe. Even if five or six are finally cleared, ideally the production should be farmed out to high-population countries, to ensure seamless logistics of distribution.
About seven billion people across countries have to be inoculated across the world. So the vaccines have to be packed appropriately, transported and delivered to the consumption centres, town and villages.
We will have to establish optimum delivery mechanisms to distribute the vaccine, even in villages with a population of less than 500, in countries like India, Kenya etc. Arranging for an adequate number of trained health workers to administer the vaccine is also a significant task in many developing countries.
We also need to decide the percentage of people that need to be vaccinated in each country. For instance, India and China have populations exceeding one billion. A perspective will be necessary to decide whether the entire community needs to be inoculated, or we factor in the herd immunity factor. Moreover, we need clarity about the age level of the children to be vaccinated.
Many of these issues are difficult challenges and will take time to understand and resolve. However, the scientific and medical fraternity need to start thinking about them. We are in unchartered waters.
From Mr R K Aneja
COVID-19: When will things get back to the way they were?
Crisis of COVID-19 has, if not entirely, partially changed our living habits, especially habits relating to food consumption (“Going viral: The end of coronavirus restrictions is a long way off”, Gulf News, June 08). Since moving out from homes is almost controlled due to lockdowns and curfews, you may not take the risk of going out to a restaurant to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner now. You have to remain contained with what is cooked and served to you at home. Ordering food from outside, too, involves risk.
I love dosa (rice crepe/pancake originated from south India) for its crispiness and excellent taste. My urge to eat dosa, during COVID-19 chaos, haunted me right from the beginning of coronavirus lockdown here in India. Four months have passed. And amid restrictions around, to procure and eat a dosa continued to be a faraway exercise for me. My wife and daughter could read my mind. Both ventured to prepare dosa at home taking notes from Youtube. I, on my part, helped them in finding out the necessary ingredients. While there is 'a will, there is a way', dosa was ready, and it tasted as wonderful as an ordered one from a restaurant. Everybody in the home had his or her share and thanked COVID-19 for inspiring, prompting, and believing in 'self-help'. Self-help, if followed rigorously during this dreadful Covid-19 pandemic, will relieve us from so many tensions and mounting domestic pressures both from within and outside our homes. Tense and over-strained relationships within the four walls of one's home will soften and smoothen miraculously.
The more we keep on lending a helping hand to each other in accomplishing the daily chores at our homes, the more we are nearing to break the COVID-19 pandemic and our monotony created by this diabolical coronavirus over these months.
From Dr S K Raina
Social distancing is impossible in refugee camps to avert coronavirus
This year has been challenging for everyone across the globe (“See their plight as 'World Refugee Day' is observed across the globe during COVID-19 pandemic”, Gulf News, June 20). The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees with a profound lesson in humanity and solidarity. The novel coronavirus does not discriminate against anyone based on age, race, colour, faith or socio-economic status of a person. All are affected equally. The refugees, in particular, face a difficult challenge with the pandemic rising in their camps. It is impossible to social distance in crowded places. At the same time, continuous human right violations around the world, in conflict zones, has not made it easy for people to protect themselves.
From Mr Amit Mehra