The Covishield vaccine today left the Serum Institute of India facility in Pune and were taken to different parts of India. This is how the box of vials looked.
A sticker on the box reads ‘सर्वे संतु निरामयः’. It means may all be free from disease. Indeed.
When 2020 started we did not know how the world as we know it will be changed forever. When initial reports of the mysterious illness from China were pouring in, we were dealing with our own internal virus of misinformation and violent protests which eventually culminated into riots.
We all thought that as Indians our immunity is much stronger. After all, most of us recover from vector-borne diseases like malaria, chikungunya without major health issues. So, of course, we’ll be able to fight out this flu.
After the initial denial, however, when the disease finally landed here and spread at terrifying rate, things changed. The lockdown happened.
There was so much misinformation around the new Chinese virus. Some people believed it was a hoax created by government of India to send Muslims to detention centres. Because of such rumours and misinformation, healthcare workers were attacked when they went to collect samples.
People were dying. Seemingly healthy people.
Graveyards were running out of place to bury the dead.
But amid all this, while we came to terms with the virus unleashed upon us, some of the smartest brains around the world were working hard to find a vaccine.
There was hope again.
Soon, there were trials of vaccine. We had gone from infection to vaccine in less than a year.
Some people are apprehensive that how can we trust a vaccine ready in a year when it usually takes decades of hard work and research.
Well, it is indeed true that vaccine development takes years, but then extraordinary time like Chinese coronavirus called for extraordinary measures. Millions of dollars were spent and man hours were put in collectively for this vaccine to develop. Surely they know a thing or two more about virus than you and I.
And along with rest of the world, Indian scientists wee also putting all their might behind this vaccine. We have our very first made in India vaccine. A time has come when this ‘third world country’ is showing the way to so-called first world countries who can’t even get their transfer of power in place.
And now, the time has arrived.
Vaccines are ready. They have reached the states. On 16th, the frontline workers, the most vulnerable of the lot, will get the vaccines.
In less than one year of the first ever coronavirus case being detected in India.
सर्वे संतु निरामयः, indeed.