Tackle vaccine hesitancy with education programmes

Our readers have their say on global vaccine hesitancy, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and India's preventive measures against Covid-19

Five-year-old Charlotte from Timmenrode is shown a syringe by a vaccination assistant before her first Corona vaccination in Quedlinburg, Germany, December 18. AP
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This is with reference to Patrick DeHahn's report More deaths and vaccine hesitancy: the US fight against Covid in 2021 (December 20): The reluctance among some people across the world to take the vaccine is cause for alarm. Many companies in the US and UK plan to ensure that all office staff and even visitors, should be fully vaccinated. Britain is pondering vaccination passports for people to attend football matches and even universities, to incentivise young people to take their jabs.

Earlier this year we learnt of a study by Oxford University which revealed that about 10 per cent of the people interviewed had a fear of needles, which is why they were hesitant to take the vaccine.

In many African countries, where only a small percentage of the population is inoculated, there are often vaccines available freely, but there are no takers. Even though booths have been set up, there are no queues. A sustained educational programme, in a persuasive style, is required to ensure that people's apprehensions are addressed and they get their jabs.

Clearly governments across the world need to push hard to ensure 100 per cent compliance. In France, the vaccinations surged only when the president Emmanuel Macron told his countrymen that they would not be allowed to enter cafes and bars, till they showed proof of vaccination. People need to understand that if they do not take the jabs, they are not merely endangering themselves, but also everyone around, including their families and friends.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Desmond Tutu: the passing of an inspiration

With reference to the report US President Joe Biden leads tributes after death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu (December 27): My most heartfelt condolences on the passing of Archbishop Tutu. He was a true inspiration and a moral guide. May his soul rest in peace.

Samuel Njau, Nairobi, Kenya

India's timely preventive measures

With regard to Taniya Dutta's report India clears two new vaccines and Merck pill to beat Omicron (December 28): India's approval of the new vaccines and the pill to beat the new variant is laudable. On seeing the scenario of both local and international of surging cases of the new variant, the Indian administration has decided this is the best safeguard. Last week the India approved vaccinating children between the ages of 15 and 18. Evidently, the government believes prevention is better than cure, a good motto as we enter the new year. I wish everyone good health and happiness. May we get rid of the pandemic for good in 2022.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru, India

Published: December 30, 2021, 3:00 AM