Covid-19: Advent of the third wave
Mankind has been able to solve millions of questions throughout its birth on this planet. However, it is struggling to find a solution to a problem called “UNCERTAINTY”. Uncertainty is the epicenter of fear born in humans since they are afraid of the unknown. This validates the phrase, “Knowledge is power”. In the 21st century, covid is the new form of uncertainty that has entered the lives of billions of people. This uncertainty arises since the medical sector is unable to garner immediate responses to the covid outbreak, let alone treat covid.
The Covid 19 Pandemic has put the whole world in disarray. People are horrified and anxious to know the way out of this dominant global issue. Luckily the discovery of the vaccines has given a ray of hope to fight this pandemic. The regular phases of clinical trails carried out by the government in various hotspots of the country resulted in the identification of more infected people. The vaccination process has started for all age groups above the age of 18, but the government faces a new problem of overcrowding and panic in most of the urban vaccination centers.
In comparison to the first wave of Covid, the second wave has shown a radical increase in the fatality rate. Various researchers have suggested that the mutation of the virus may be the reason for new/ modified symptoms. The enforcement of forced lockdowns in various states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal etc, has resulted in a decrease in the number of active cases, as reported by the government. It can also be assumed that the fatality rate has also decreased by a large margin due to lockdowns and restrictions. As per the tentative data reported, about 4-5% of the total population of India is being affected at the current phase.
The central and the state health authorities are now preparing for the third wave of Covid-19, which they estimate may strike India later this year. With the advent of the second wave in India, the healthcare industry has started to deflate dramatically. India must gear up to deal with the quandaries in the healthcare system before the third wave hits the mass.
Various renowned doctors and researchers have suggested that the medical industry must be prepared for a situation when lakhs of children may be hospitalized. They have cautioned that the third wave may impact youngsters adversely. The first sign of the new virus trend B.1.617.2 variant is predicted to be the cause of the third wave. In accordance with the estimated data, the first wave observed that only 4% of the young population got affected. Things changed drastically during the second wave, which observed a stiff rise in numbers with 10-15% of the children getting affected. This time, the researchers have warned that around 60% of the children may get affected in case we do not prepare well for the third wave.
Now, India is still in the trial phase of vaccinating its kids. Roughly, 18 crore children are prone to the newest form of this virus. If we consider, 20% of the children getting affected, 3.6 crore children may be suffering from covid. And, if 1% gets serious, 3.6 lakh children will be fighting for their lives. A big number, isn’t it?
Various states of India have started taking precautions to protect their children. Delhi, Maharashtra as well as Karnataka are the first to announce their countermeasures against covid like special task groups, pediatric centers for children and rehabilitation centers for orphans. Though these steps are applaudable, India is in greater need of vaccines and most importantly new and modified vaccination centres to cater for the needs of the time.
As per the recent statements from the ministry of health, the vaccine shortage across the country is expected to end soon, and we can expect a boost in the production of the vaccine for India in the coming months. After Pfizer’s BioNTech passed all major phased trials, United States vaccinated around 6 lakh youngsters belonging to the age group 12-15 years. As per the American physician-scientist and immunologist Anthony Fauci’s prediction, US children between the ages of 4-6 years might also get vaccinated from December 2021 to January 2022.
Are we prepared?
While Bharat Biotech has received clearance from India’s Drug Controller General to commence Phase 3 trials of its vaccine for children aged 2 to 18, the process is expected to commence in the next 8-10 days. Another leading biopharmaceutical business, AstraZeneca is also in the early stage of the 3rd phase and the vaccine is expected to be applicable for the age group, 6-17. Though additional vaccinations, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine and Russia’s Sputnik V, are expected to reach Indian markets shortly, it is uncertain when immunizations for children under the age of 18 will be accessible.
India is getting ready to enter the third phase of the vaccination drive. Currently, people belonging to the age group of 18-44 years are in the process of being vaccinated. Children are the future of this economy and we cannot bear to lose them in this fight against an invisible enemy. India must start phases of clinical trails on kids soon. Else, there will be nothing left apart from ruins and chaos in the world’s seventh-largest economy.
Stay Strong, Stay Unaffected!