Normal life is a relative term; however a reasonably healthy life is what we might call as close to normal as possible.
As history holds proof, the world has been plagued by diseases and deaths from infectious diseases from times immemorial till as late as the early 20th century. Armed with the knowledge and technology we have at hand now, much of the disease burden and deaths were vaccine-preventable. To mark the importance of vaccination every year on 10th November World Immunization day is celebrated worldwide. This year the theme for the day is “Vaccines bring us closer”
“Vaccines are not only crucial in reducing the spread of infectious diseases by breaking the chain of infectivity, but they’re also vital in minimizing severity and complications in those affected, thereby significantly contributing to lesser disease burden and deaths,” said Dr. Dibyendu Mukherjee, Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital Kolkata, Anandapur.
Large scale vaccination campaigns have made possible the eradication of a deadly, disfiguring disease – the small pox. Many more such diseases are in the process of elimination and so many lives have since been saved owing to this wonderful invention by Edward Jenner.
In the recent covid period it can be seen that it is not that those who have taken the vaccine are not getting affected but the cases are less and definitely the complication rate is much less. There are patients who have taken two doses of vaccine and are affected after taking both the doses and even there is also the involvement of lungs as well but symptomatically the patients did not had to suffer much and the recovery rate is much faster. There is also a section of people who have taken both the doses of vaccine and are still affected by the virus, in these people it is becoming difficult to diagnose because there are times when the RTPCR report is negative but since the antibody is already formed in the body at times it is not possible to understand even after seeing the antibody and treating these patients becomes a bit difficult, in cases like these we are treating the patients based on CT scan and by measuring other parameters.
Overall vaccination is very much helpful. Post second wave those who are coming they are fully vaccinated or at least partially vaccinated. Therefore the complications rate is much less. Involvement is there but the symptoms are less so most of the times it is not even understandable and the test rate is also less. Those who are getting affected they are not suffering on a higher level. “Complications can be found among elderly patients even after vaccination and those who have co-morbidities like hypertension, diabetes or those who take immunosuppressant drugs or who had gone through renal transplant or the patients who take steroids they are getting affected and the complications rate is also much higher among these patients,” said Dr. Mukherjee, Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital Kolkata, Anandapur.
The world, since its inception has been riddled with unsolvable mysteries and problems. Among the few questions that have answers, is the undeniable effectiveness of vaccination in decreasing the burden of infectious diseases. Therefore, immunization, one of the best inventions of mankind, should be prioritized by every state, country, government, to improve what we have in our hands. Who lives and who dies is not for us mortals to decide, but to make life in between healthy and normal is an effort we can choose to make.
-Dr Dibyendu Mukherjee (Consultant in Internal Medicine at Fortis Hosptial, Anandapur)