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Knowledge At MET

Knowledge At MET



At this point, more than a year into the pandemic which has taken the world under its grasp, the lockdown has had adverse effects on the economy and people too. Since the COVID-19 pandemic showed no signs of slowing down even after two years, the focus turned to vaccines; but there are a lot of myths and misconceptions around vaccination which led to ‘Vaccine hesitancy’. Any licensed vaccine is rigorously tested across multiple phases of trials before it is approved for use, and regularly reassessed once it is introduced. Scientists are also constantly monitoring information from several sources for any sign that a vaccine may cause health risks. All the coronavirus vaccines are approved or authorized by statutory bodies before release. While millions of people worldwide have been vaccinated with only mild side effects and few with no side effects, myths abound that “if you take the vaccine you’re dead”; but that’s not reality. Fake news on social media has added fuel to this fire, and because of these widespread myths, people are reluctant to take the vaccine. We need to realize that Covid-19 is no joke, and a vaccination drive and herd immunity is our best chance to defeat or even eradicate the disease (unless new strains keep coming up). Keeping this in mind, safe and effective vaccination is critical to end the COVID-19 pandemic. People even questioned the efficacy of the vaccine since it was launched in a very short time. In reality, the World Health Organization (WHO) is involved with various countries in developing safe and effective vaccines. At a time when citizens should unite and support the efforts of the government to fight the pandemic, myths about vaccination are floated that “One can get Covid-19 from the vaccine”. Many such rumors and pieces of misinformation are keeping people from getting vaccinated against Covid and thus delaying the end of the pandemic. However, a recent report showed that a startling number of people refused to get even initial doses of the corona virus vaccine due to the spread of such rumors. There is no scientifically sound evidence, “It’s just a problem of repairing the lack of trust in the government, in pharmaceutical companies and in public health thus all this has made people wary of what’s in the vaccine, what it can do to our body and whether it’s really necessary at all. Vaccination will not only protect us from serious illness, hospitalization and death but will make it less likely that you will pass the virus on to others, which means your decision to get the vaccine also protects those who are around you. The only way to prevent COVID-19 from being a permanent presence in our lives, is to get vaccinated. So I think it’s not the vaccines that will stop the pandemic, it's getting vaccinated. We as responsible citizens must ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines and ensure that every country receives them and can help in protecting their people, starting by taking vaccine doses before the the situation of the pandemic gets worse.

Sanika Naringrekar

F. Y. B. Pharm


Opposition to vaccines is as old as vaccines in general. Being recognized as one of the most successful public health measures has still not made it easy to completely eradicate the people's thoughts of vaccines being unsafe. Since the introduction, vaccination has been subjected to many different controversies and scares. These controversies have affected the vaccine acceptance to varying degrees.

Media has also had a negative effect on the outlook of people towards vaccination. They have somewhere down the line been successful and basically played a major role in keeping the vaccine scares alive among people. The omnipresence of anti-vaccination content on the WORLD WIDE WEB has contributed to a broader and faster dissemination of rumors, myths and inaccurate beliefs.

High quality vaccine safety surveillance is in place in developed countries. However, the strength and reliability of these systems is not well understood by the population or even by some health care providers. Many public health interventions to promote vaccinations, especially those based on education and information, have not been successful in enhancing vaccine uptake.

The above mentioned are some of the major reasons for vaccines being considered as threats rather than medicines at times. So, if we study the scenario with utmost dedication and try to concentrate on the cause of this outlook towards vaccines we can surely find a solid solution and eradicate the notion that has been relevant over the years regarding vaccines.

Shanti Sanvordekar

T. Y. B. Pharm


Although the vaccination drive is in full swing and has made progress and achieved results as expected throughout India, there is still a large amount of population, irrespective of whether they have been vaccinated or not; who disagree or do not believe in the efficacy of vaccines completely. People have misconceptions of vaccines being a threat instead of a medicine. Not only now during the pandemic but also previously, people thought vaccines to be a threat rather than a medicine. Thus, vaccine hesitancy comes as a severe threat in the future.

There are some major reasons for vaccine hesitancy not only across India but also throughout the globe. Firstly, herd immunity is one big reason for vaccine hesitancy (a fact majorly prevalent in India), wherein, people do not feel any need to go for any medicine (enteral or parenteral), as they feel they have the natural immunity against the disease. In India, people mostly rely upon traditional medicines like kadhas, etc. to cure the majority of ailments. Natural physiological immunity and many traditional medicines hold superiority over modern medicines in much of the Indian population. This is one of the major reasons for people to consider vaccines as a threat as they feel that it might disturb the already pertaining immunity present inside them and therefore, avoid getting vaccinated.

Another reason for people to consider vaccines a threat is misinformation. As information proves to play a major role to promote or demote any product in the markets, misinformation influences the mindsets of the population in a broader way than any other reason. The sources of misinformation are many in this era like news media, internet, etc. As vaccines are a product that is going to deal with the health of the population, it is obvious that even a small piece of misinformation can lead to negligence and unacceptance towards the product. Some other reasons include the contents of vaccines, i.e., vaccines contain the weakened or killed part of the microorganism, so being aware of this and also with lack of trust in vaccine manufacturing institutions, although the vaccines are being approved by statutory bodies, people do not prefer to take any such medication and thus assume it to be a threat rather than a medicine. Thus, due to all such reasons known till now as per research, people consider vaccines more of a threat rather than a medicine and this has become one of the major concerns to the growing population.

Vaishnavi Nagwekar

T. Y. B. Pharm

Tags: MET Institute of Pharmacy