EDITORIAL | The Muddy battle of Vaccination to Disease X: Where do we stand?



Vaccine politics seems to be the order of the day, and we have another crisis at hand with the latest reports of bird flu across parts in India.

On January 3, India approved vaccines COVISHIELD and the indigenously 'Made in India' COVAXIN. The rollout made headlines across media houses, and the political bandwagon from the opposition wanted the upper hand.

The coronavirus pandemic which made inroads during 2019-2020 has been a turning point in history creating a pall of doom whether economically, politically or socially but have we ever pondered why the pandemic took place?

Could it be because of our way of consumerism to wreaking havoc across ecosystems around the world?

Environmentally we have disturbed all forms of nature, creating a perfect storm for viruses to ‘spillover’ across the human barrier.

The bird flu (H5N1) as reported in India shows that the business of poultry matched with the usage of antibiotics have created strains which have the potential to turn into superbugs.

The wet markets across Asia and some in Northeast India have to be careful with this crossover and COVID-19 showed us that preparedness was valuable for countries such as New Zealand who could flatten it out.

Finally, the book, The Fatal Strain: On the Trail of Avian Flu and the Coming Pandemic by Alan Sipress just shows how close we are to Disease X.