- Sai Charan
The importance of COVID-19 vaccination - a global perspective
The COVID-19 pandemic is still ravaging the world. However, the end of the pandemic seems near. Vaccination rates are steadily picking up across the world. People from around the world are being vaccinated at greater and greater speeds with more and more varieties of vaccines. Most of these vaccines can be broadly categorized into RNA vaccines, Adenovirus vector vaccines, and Inactivated virus vaccines. Although these vaccines have different mechanisms, they are essentially the same. They prevent infection by activating the body’s immune system so that it can recognize the invading pathogen and produce antibodies to neutralize the pathogen. This is achieved by injecting virus-like particles into our bodies that mimic the virus.
Many people have recently raised concerns regarding the efficacy and safety of these vaccines. Some of these concerns have been fanned by conspiracy theorists to further their agenda. Hence, it is worth noting that vaccination is the safest way that we have to build protection against this deadly virus. Researchers from around the world have weighed the risks and benefits of vaccination and have concluded that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks. The COVID-19 vaccines are one of the safest vaccines that we have ever developed with many vaccines having an efficacy rate of over 95%.
Once a sufficient number of people are vaccinated, the population is said to have achieved herd immunity. A population that has achieved herd immunity minimizes the risk of spreading the disease and thus protects the whole community from infection. Studies have shown that infection rates decrease by as much as 90% in vaccinated communities. After more than a year of mask-wearing, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing, this protection offered by vaccines is vital if we ever want to defeat the COVID-19 virus. The key takeaway from all of this is that vaccines save lives and are the solution to containing the virus, for all ages.