That a sitting MLA died of Covid without being vaccinated or taking treatment despite showing symptoms of the disease should raise some very fundamental questions about Meghalaya’s vaccination status. The daily statistics of deaths due to Covid show that nearly all of those who have died so far were not vaccinated. But that fact does not seem to bother those who are congenitally averse to the vaccination. The Health Department has used all the known strategies to convince people about the efficacy of the Covid vaccine and how it can prevent a severe attack of the disease even if one were to contract it.
There are many who question why they still have to wear masks and strictly follow Covid-19 protocols even after being vaccinated with both doses. Its important for health workers and influencers to be upfront about vaccine efficiency. Medical experts aver those vaccines offer strong protection, but that protection takes time to build. They say people must take all the required doses of a vaccine to build full immunity. For two-dose vaccines, vaccines only give partial protection after the first dose, and the second dose increases that protection. It takes time before protection reaches its maximum level a few weeks after the second dose. For a one-dose vaccine, people will have built maximum immunity against Covid-19 a few weeks after getting vaccinated. However, health scientists have all said that the vaccine does in no way guarantee that those who are vaccinated will not contract the Covid-19 virus. All they say is that the vaccine can prevent a severe outbreak of the disease which would require hospitalization and an ICU bed or oxygen support. They say vaccination ensures that the virus is weakened and hence people would recover with little or no medical intervention.
Normally, it is expected that elected representatives would be the first to take the lead in taking the vaccine so that they can then convince their people to be vaccinated. And they should do that by publicly demonstrating their vaccination status. But in Meghalaya there are different categories of societal leaders that openly propagate that vaccination is counter productive and has some serious effects in the long run; this despite scientific evidence to the contrary. So far only less than 50% of Meghalaya’s population have received both doses of the vaccine, thereby leaving a huge chunk still vulnerable to severe Covid-19 infection. This challenge has to be overcome through incentives as adopted by Bihar and other states where the unvaccinated don’t get their rations.