Burying the fallacy of vaccine sceptics
The ICMR study is a good beginning that debunks campaigns against Covid-19 with peer-reviewed scientific evidence
An Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study has found that the spate of sudden deaths reported post-Covid among young adults in India could be because of past Covid hospitalisation, family history of sudden deaths, binge drinking, and intense unaccustomed activity. It should set at rest the harmful narrative based on anecdotes and rumours that Covid-19 vaccines caused these deaths.
Covid-19 was first reported in late 2019, infected hundreds of millions of people, caused close to seven million deaths and led to economic distress across the world. Scientists developed vaccines within a few months of the outbreak. These vaccines saved the lives of hundreds of millions of people. However, vaccine sceptics have been picking on random deaths and listing anecdotal evidence to campaign against Covid-19 vaccines. This defamation campaign had sought to blame the many “sudden deaths” as the outcome of Covid-19 vaccines.
The ICMR study is a good beginning that debunks such campaigns with peer-reviewed scientific evidence. Our response to diseases has to be based on scientific evidence. Science has to be the guiding light of public policy. India has one of the world’s largest vaccination programmes. Once common diseases such as smallpox, measles, and polio have been brought under control with vaccines. Yet, there is a high prevalence of vaccine hesitancy in the country. India’s challenge is to bring more and more people under the ambit of vaccination. The pharma industry may try to influence health policy, but that is a matter of regulation and oversight, not a reason to discredit or deny vaccines.