It’s been a little over a year since the novel Coronavirus disease presented itself to unsuspecting humankind and roughly 2.5 Million people have perished. This is the alarming reality confronting us right now and the civilization has been left baffled like never before. The latest on the topic of Covid 19 as most of us are aware of, concerns the vaccine that has finally reached the market after a forestalled stay on lab-tables. The vaccine-race is currently being led by Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna to combat the Coronavirus disease and they put their effectiveness to somewhere around 95%. India’s AstraZeneca and the Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech here in South Asia, are all set to gift millions of shots to neighboring countries
Does that mean we have a 95% chance of surviving the disease once fully vaccinated? Or should it mean that 95 out of every 100 heads will not contract the disease after having received the Covid-19 vaccination? Turns out that the vaccine-math is not that linear after all. The vaccine-van might’ve started rolling on its wheels, but there’s a distance to cover before we can vouch for its efficiency and throw our masks out. Here are your top reasons to continue wearing a mask or practice social distancing once you’ve received a shot.
The Vaccine does not warrant complete protection
Doctors and infectious disease experts will tell you if you show the eagerness to know that the figures denoting the effectiveness of the vaccine are ruled by the ‘Efficacy Rate’. Clinical trials mean that doctors will administer a placebo shot to a percentage of their data-set and the real vaccine to the remaining and then wait for you to catch the disease. The fewer the number of sick people, the higher the efficacy. But that’s the rough logic,. All said and done, the 95% efficacy rate contrary to common assumption, does not ensure that the second the syringe goes in, you’ll be immune. Partial immune-response may be triggered but it’ll take a while for you to be completely protected against corona virus.
There may be asymptomatic carriers among those vaccinated
It’s been a year since the first cases of this notorious virus were spotted in China and doctors have been concerned about dodging the silent-bullet ever since. While the vaccine does promise protection, we’re still in the dark about its ability to protect against transmission. Infected patients that show no symptoms can end up spreading the disease resulting in an exponential rise in positive cases. The death toll can snowball and the chance that the virus will remain very much in circulation, therefore, mutating into newer strains, can also skyrocket. Once the first dose is successfully rolled out, it is imperative that the ones who receive the shot take social distancing measures to protect the lives of those that are awaiting their turn. If we’re compliant and curtail wanton transmission, we could be looking at a better state of affairs after the second round.
At this hour of crisis, we need to look out for each other
Clinical trials are deliberately selective, for certain groups of people that are already at high-risk need to be left out of a designated data-set. Pregnant women, seniors with chronic clinical illnesses, individuals with weaker immunity, and co-morbidity conditions are already immunodeficient. There is no telling if the 95% efficacy rate could be ballparked for these individuals. After the first dose is administered, people that may react or develop allergies to any of the vaccine components will be advised against the second dose. Again, indiscipline and irresponsible social behavior will mean that the progress we’ve made so far, will be lost.
Is there enough vaccine for everyone on planet earth?
Well, we’re almost 8 billion and the hard work that several research teams have done over the past 12 months trying to bring a global pandemic to its end, is truly impeccable. However, for these many of us to get fully vaccinated with no strains of the covid 19 viruses remaining, it might take longer than we can comprehend.
Until then, ‘Mask On’ and don’t forget to keep a spare one handy. And if you’re showing symptoms, get in touch with a pathology lab like Pathkind and get yourself tested. Pathkind Pathology labs offer all kinds of Government approved Covid-19 related tests like RT-PCR and Antibody tests, performed by trained technical personnel for detection and inspection of Coronavirus. In case you test positive, quarantine yourself or visit a hospital.