Sunday, 6 December, 2020
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OPINION

Anti-COVID-19 Vaccine Brings Cheers To People



Parmeshwar Devkota

Amid celebrations of Dashain, Tihar and Chhat festivals, good news has been circulated to the people around the world that the vaccines against COVID-19 have now been at their final stages. This has created a glimmer of hope that the world may become free from the coronavirus pandemic in the next couple of months or so.
Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, AstraZeneca and Oxford have claimed that they have made significant achievement in the development of vaccines against the deadly virus. Lately, Pfizer has applied to the US Food and Drug Administration for the approval of using the vaccine in emergency cases. This means that the pharmaceutical companies are bringing the medicine with full confidence in the immediate future.
Some companies have claimed that their product's success rate is above 92 per cent while others say that their vaccines' success rate stands at 95 per cent. Some even say that their products are best for the people above 65 years.
However, the rapid progress in the discovery of vaccines carries two different dimensions. On the one hand, it has provided a big relief to the people hit hard by the virus. On the other, it has triggered a cut-throat competition among the pharmaceutical companies to dominate the market for the sale of new drug. Making the matter further complicated, some leading media have been labelling the products of some companies as the 'communist countries' products' whereas, the products of other countries as ‘rights violators’ products. Such charges and counter-charges might dampen the happiness brought by the new vaccines.
The interesting thing is that powerful countries such as the USA, Britain and even India had already booked millions of vials for their citizens. Given the ongoing competition to produce and purchase the vaccines, it appears that the rich countries will have their early access to them. This may deprive the vulnerable people and frontline healthcare workers from the poor nations of the much-needed vaccines in the beginning. This means the third-world countries might see rising number of fatalities as the winter season sets in.
The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Nepal is significantly low compared to other countries. However, a single death is a great loss to the nation and it must be stopped by using all available means and resources.
Nepal government must be proactive to purchase the vaccines for the frontline health workers, vulnerable citizens and security persons. It should not overly rely on the WHO for getting them free of cost.
However, prior to access to vaccines, it is necessary to equip all our hospitals with medical fridges as standard fridges used for domestic purposes do not provide correct temperature required to preserve their immunogenicity.
The anti-COVID-19 vaccines require refrigeration, and some companies are saying that their vaccines need to be kept at the temperature below -20° C. Therefore, federal and state government should work together to make sure that all hospitals have medical refrigerators to store the new vaccines.
Likewise, the health workers need to be trained on administering the new vaccines. Political parties and social organisations can play a vital role in making vaccination drive a success once the much-sought after vaccines arrive here in a large quantity. 

How do you feel after reading this news?