Bark Worse Than Bite: Fears Around the COVID Vaccine: Full Report

While 2020 heralded in the COVID pandemic that would go on to ravage the globe, 2021 brought in hope for a vaccine, an end to this virus that had brought giants of modern society to its knees. The English speaking world could only converse about the merits of Moderna vs Pfizer, the lure of the single dose Johnson & Johnson shot vs the faster trial to market timelines of other pharmaceutical formulas. Efficacy trials and side effects, comorbidities and contraindications, are all now part and parcel of the English lexicon, hinting at an increasing comfort with medical terminologies and vaccine science that is probably unparalleled to any other time in the history of Western medicine. Juxtapose this with a conversation we had with Sapna1 who cleans an office in New Delhi, and in early April 2021 was unaware that a COVID vaccine had been released in the market in her country and her ailing pensioner mother had been eligible for her free shot for over a month. While we were learning how to register our loved ones on various portals to ensure earliest access to the vaccines that had finally reached India’s hallowed shores, a significant portion of our population was unaware that they were now even eligible for a vaccine that could help protect them against one of the greater health crises we had witnessed.