Saturday, May 21, 2022

Encourage people to vaccinate; just don’t drag them to vaccination centers

The world is today in a much better space than was the case early 2020 and a larger part of 2021.

The world is slowly moving towards normalcy.

That is thanks to the fact that people have been taking vaccines.

After vaccinse, people have gone on to take boosters.

Vaccines save lives. It reduces hospitalizations. And once people are hospitalised vaccine reduces chances of death.

For a foreseeable future, vaccines will remain a big part of public defences against Covid-19.

No matter how good a vaccine, taking it should remain a personal choice.

Parents who do not want their teenage children vaccinated should be allowed to make and live with such a decision.

We cannot all of a sudden have a government that makes personal decisions for individuals.

It is unlikely that Covid-19 has had its last word.

There is likely to be more waves coming our way.

But be that as it may the world is not going back to legally enforceable restrictions again – at least not as strong as the situation was in 2020.

The economy has become so fragile to an extent that even some of the requirements that still remain are causing untold harm on the economy.

A wave of Omicron late last year was seen through with no enhanced restrictions.

Data has shown that the wave caused fewer deaths than previous one.

And there were also fewer hospitalisations.

There is now sufficient evidence that retaining many of the restrictions is much costlier.

We should all support government to reach high targets in its vaccination drive.

In fact there should now be more cost sharing of such things like testing between government and the employers.

Forcing people to get vaccines works against the bigger parameters of public health.

In fact such mandates are counterproductive in the end.

Any public health expert will tell you that any state enforced vaccination – no matter how good the intensions – ultimately works against public health.

Government interventions on personal decisions should forever be used sparingly and only when it is absolutely necessary.

Forcing people who do not want to take vaccines is nothing short of intrusion into their privacy.

In any case there will always be exemptions.

Some people do so for personal reasons, others for health reasons and yet others for religious or cultural reasons.

As of now we should move away from government thinking of forcing people to get vaccine.

As a matter of fact, government should seriously consider disbanding the Presidential Covid-19 Task Force and restoring the whole responsibility to the Ministry of Health and Wellness – unless there is an underlying political will to continue using the Taskforce as jobs for pals.

Across the world treatments are improving in quality and quantity. Some countries have already started using antibodies, pills and anti-viral drugs.

But what is important is that countries are beginning to give freedom back to people.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper