The writer is professor and chairperson, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
Vaccine equity, smooth user experience, understanding prevailing motives and behaviours and bridging the digital divide are all vital in India’s fight against COVID-19.
Effective messaging strategy shall need both a compelling story and a storyteller; credible voices will be crucial, going beyond celebrity status or political popularity
The COVID-19 situation underscores the importance of combining good science with prudent judgment to meet the needs of large populations, while maximising scientific quality in the face of applicable limitations and competing interests.
The WHO cautioned that “we have seen broad variations in naïve estimations of CFR that may be misleading”. Adjusting for the stage of the pandemic in each setting is essential to correctly interpreting COVID-19 statistics.
With the spike protein having multiple locations where antibodies can bind and neutralise the virus, mutations in the pathogen are not likely to be easily successful in negotiating the vaccine.
The recipe for the earlier successes included close technical coordination between central, state and municipal agencies as well as a proactive political leadership, ably backed by a strong public health establishment of the Municipal Corporation.
“Social distancing” is what the PM emphasised for all Indians, and the “Janata curfew” was an extraordinary communication and implementation strategy.
Vector control requires action at household level and robust public health systems.
It requires a far wider spectrum of interventions than mere clinical management.