‘Vaccine should initially be given to senior citizens and chronically ill, not frontline workers’
KATHMANDU: The Covishield Vaccine entered Nepal from India on Thursday. This is an important step in the fight against COVID.
Overall, Covishield is considered to be 70 percent effective. The vaccine is said to work 90 percent when given half-dose or low-dose and 62 percent when both doses are given. Its effectiveness has been analyzed on the basis of its use by countries including the UK, South Asia, Africa and Brazil.
Companies including Pfizer and Oxford have developed vaccines targeting the spike gene, a pinch-like beak that emerges around the S-Gene virus. The effectiveness of the vaccine that has been developed targeting the S-Gene or the spike gene will be challenging if the spike gene alters drastically.
The challenge for us is how the virus changes continuously. Therefore, the effectiveness score is likely to fall. Vaccines designed to target the spike gene will be a challenge in the coming days if the virus mutates.
There are also negative comments being made about the vaccine. This is natural. There is a fear that something bad will happen to someone. This can happen to one person in millions and thousands. So far, the vaccine has not had such a negative effect. But, it cannot be said that this will not happen.
We should be happy that a vaccine is here, which is a good thing. Without the vaccine, the virus can still cause serious problems. Therefore, vaccines are the only way to protect target groups.
Due to the lack of trials, pregnant women, those taking regular medication, and those with low immunity will not be vaccinated. Things will slowly become clearer.
There are discussions ongoing on giving the vaccine to frontline workers first. However, statistics show that most senior citizens and chronically ill people have died from COVID. The frontline workers, who seem to be prioritized, are already cautious. My wish is to vaccinate senior citizens and long-term patients in the first phase.