Ever since omicron came to dominate the covid scenario there have been discussions ,heated debates and arguments amongst the medical, scientific, bureaucratic and political community as to how it should be handled, whether it will cause increase in hospitalisation and deaths, will it spread rapidly. Views have been varied, each section claiming that they are right.
The vaccination against COVID has bee accepted by citizens at large, not necessarily because they believe in it but with the fear of death at the back of their minds they did take it, perhaps grudgingly. The scientific community, the pharmaceutical giants, manufacturers of vaccines, the bureaucrats and political people were the main peddlers for the vaccine. Never in the history of mankind has any vaccine with only permission for emergency use been given to so many people. It has been unprecedented . The political class and bureaucrats take pride in having vaccinated their populations without even knowing that the vaccine has only permission as an emergency use vaccine. The vaccine manufacturers are thrilled at the quantity sold and used, their profits have skyrocketed, the scientific community happy that thier line has been towed. The doctors community is divided on the issue, anyways they are neither the direct or major beneficiary in the whole vaccine game.
Whether the vaccine has actually provided immunity to fully vaccinated is still a matter of study, concern and debate. Now they are propogating booster doses. Decisions are being taken by non medical personnel and the political establishment. The medical fraternity are divided in opinion but prefer to tow the official line,though there are a few scattered subdued voices of dissent.
Cases have been increasing worldwide at an alarming speed. Majority of the population is now infected. Hospitalisation rates are low and deaths are few. The fear of uncertainty is there. It is being advocated that this wave with its higher rate of infectivity and mild symptoms will ultimately lead to herd immunity and a vaccine itself might not be needed. At the same time vaccines are being pumped in for the younger age groups ,booster doses are also being advocated for all who have completed their second dose of vaccine. How much has vaccination helped, will this game of further boosters be kept going on perpetually. No one knows. Will people with complete second doses and booster remain immune………who knows!
Just going through the cases in a urban local body area in India, I found some statistics that perhaps will be unable to justify the fact that vaccination will help a person avoid from getting infected. The data is limited for a couple of weeks, it’s not a complete study, that data too could be imperfect and faulty. The data consists of infections in persons who were vaccinated. The data indicates that over 45 percent of the people who have had two doses of the vaccine are testing postive over the last two weeks. @ 0.70 percent of previous cases were reinfected and @ 2.8 percent infected had taken a single dose of the vaccine.Does it mean that the vaccine was ineffective in stopping the virus or is it that it can’t stop the latest mutated version. This does not augur well for the argument for vaccination. If this is so how will a booster help?? What about the claimed efficacy of the vaccine. With new cases multiplying by the day it could be possible that the percentage of those having been vaccinated and still getting infected would still increase further. What should we do, take the two doses and stay shut or go further and take booster doses. No complete answers are available, atleast at present.
This wave has seen the virus spreading rapidly at breakneck speed. Admission or need for oxygen beds are not very high, but the sheer numbers of infected could see us in a situation where beds could be unavailable soon. Deaths are hardly any but one can’t predict the future. Omicron has perhaps replaced delta version of the virus. But will omicron bite or just remain a barking dog. Only time will tell.