Get Vaccinated

A good reason that many of us are hale and hearty today and are not afflicted by anything from polio to small pox is due to the many successful vaccination programs.

If one looks at the infant mortality rate of children in Bhutan before vaccinations and modern medicine, it was customary for a family to assume that one or more of their children may not survive to adulthood.

It is an irony that some of of the people who received vaccines as children in the past now have grave doubts over it due to an overloading of either fake information or out of context information.

The latest ammunition for the anti-vaxxers in Bhutan is news reports headlines that Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Bulgaria and Thailand have suspended Astra Zeneca vaccines over concerns of blood clotting.

For those bothering to read beyond the headline the meta data shows that the level of blood clotting regardless of the vaccine would still be around the same. Also, COVID-19 by itself is known to cause blood clotting.

The WHO and the European Medicines Agency have both said the Astra Zeneca vaccines are safe and there is no proven scientific link.

It is also important to remember that most of these countries also have other vaccine options and are not saying there is a definite link but that they need to study it.

As millions of people get vaccinated across the world it is inevitable that there will be a few adverse reactions, but to use this as the basis for rejecting a vaccine against a far more dangerous pandemic is asking for real trouble.

All Bhutanese took the flu vaccine last year that provided only around 60 to 70 percent protection against the major strains of flu, but the result was that a majority of us could have a flu free winter and even those who did get it did not suffer its serious effects.

The main problem leading to vaccine doubters right now is not the lack of information but the flow of unfiltered information which means that proper context and the larger data is missed out.

Another is an attitude on why we should vaccinate ourselves against a virus we may never get.

However, here it is important to remember that our current COVID-19 defenses are only a temporary measures and though we got lucky the first two times due to good preparation, we may not be as lucky the third time if a mutated and more virulent strain gets through.

Vaccination saves lives at every stage of life

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