by Seema Pavgi Upadhye
Keeping away the desperate from the needed resources in emergency is equivalent to crime which is under commitment when the organizations like USFDA and WHO are not approving a vaccine because it is Made in India. Politicization of COVID is not new since the beginning of pandemic but here the points have been discussed to understand what it cost to ignore COVAXIN when whole world is suffering from this catastrophe.
Rise of Variants- All viruses like every living thing evolve over time, due to the replication errors, some mutations are beneficial but some can be dangerous too. Pathogens if develop a mutation that can affect host then it is a matter of concern for health professionals. In SARS- CoV 2 too it has been seen that delayed eradication has given rise to variants which appeared in different countries. This is due to the fact that the virus has been stuck between politics. At many instances delaying vaccination by any means gave virus chances to replicate and thus become more dangerous.
Travel Prohibition- Non approval of Indian vaccine has lessen the chance of foreign visit by Indians in other countries. This has hampered community to much extent, for example the students are not able to go back to their foreign institutions, businessman are not able to meet supply chain people etc. This has greatly shrunk international economic activities which in some cases is applicable to life saving commodities like food and medicines.
Quarantine Cost- Because Indian vaccine are not allowed outside India, vaccinee have to quarantine themselves for 14-28 days depending on the country. Again this step has greatly increased the budget of international travelers.
Unavailability to Poor Countries – Since the whole world is struggling to get rid of CoV-2, many countries specially the wealthy ones, have stockpiled vaccines in advance. Since this vaccine business is highly capital intensive, only wealthy nations could afford to buy it and thus the poor/poorer nations are not able to get it which again is posing danger because these unvaccinated people would again make the transmission chain possible.
Doubt Over Credibility of Health Agencies’ – It has also been seen that drugs have been approved based on the country of origin and have given special privileges. EUA approval by FDA and WHO of several drugs in lack of evidence is a proof of this. Now, COVAXIN which is available after rigorous studies and clinical trials have been seeking for approval and this has been delayed because of political turmoil.