I don’t know about the antivaxxer community in the US. I guess, the men and women who refuse to get vaccinated in America are more bothered about violation of their physical body, not wanting unknown foreign substance in their system. The Americans are known for upholding individual rights or freewill. What about India. There seems to be a lobby working even here who are against vaccinations. One religious group in Kerala for instance reportedly have not been administering even polio drops to their infants. It is this group that is the fastest growing population in the entire nation with highest fertility rates. Imagine the damage that is waiting to befall on us should things go wrong. We have been believing, polio has been abolished from Indian soil. The same group could be a reason for unbelievable number of Covid cases in the state (refusing vaccines) although their communist government would like to shift the blame to gulf-returnees. The fact is that, every single expatriate working in middle east has been vaccinated far earlier than resident Indians. We may be going for a booster dose shortly. Chances of NRIs bring the coronavirus from Arab countries to India must be very slim. The ruling state government of Kerala probably would not want to point fingers.
India has had an ambitious immunization drive in the last few decades. There is an interesting angle to antivaxxers case in India. Most Indian adults of voting age have been brought under the tax net by Modi govt with Aadhar and PAN linking. Or in short, a lot of regularizing or streamlining of the Indian economy has been happening ever since the BJP govt took over for the first time in 2014. This means, individual identities can not be easily forged although this is happening in sporadic cases. There have been instances of procuring Aadhar in our north east sister states by illegal insurgents. Barring these isolated cases, there is no scope for hiding in loopholes denying your existence in India anymore. Every single Indian citizen is now brought under one legal umbrella where he/she is accountable for his/her actions. Accountable to every penny. There is still however a small percentage of our population who can escape the trap by filing form 15G etc., or not filing any returns at all. There are housewives (like me even) and small-salaried who do not pay income taxes (for earning nil or minimum untaxable incomes) yet. Then there are the jobless. There are the preteens from who we have a miniscule percent of juvenile delinquents. There are private practitioners of various professions, trades and arts. There is a burgeoning lower middle-class. There is this huge chunk of blue colour population. While all these may have their Aadhar identity, they may not necessarily have a PAN. Apart from Aadhar, India allows for numerous other IDs such as the Driving Licence (DL),Voters ID, Passport etc., for identification and address verification. A second set of IDs of secondary nature are our LPG bills, Phone bills etc., that we may pay for utility.
What the Covid vaccination does is, bringing into record the entire Indian population with their legal IDs. When I first registered for my first Covishield in India, I was asked to produce my Aadhar card. For my second dose, the first used ID was rejected. I had to necessarily flash my second ID for which I used my Voter card. I have now added my passport to my Vaccine certification. So in effect, three of my IDs have been effectively linked to my covid vaccine certificate by our Modi government! Very smart! An irrefutable proof of individual IDs or Indian citizens in this case is established. Illegal residents such as Bangladeshis in India will have to work double hard to sieve through this tight closing net. Any foreign national on the run in India cannot for long disappear. A main reason for anti-vaccine community to gain grounds is supposedly this, although our leftists would like to term it all yet another case of deprivation of individual liberty.
Number of conspiracy theories are doing rounds about covid vaccine records and stats. Sometimes even the skeptical me would wonder whether plans are afoot to depopulate Planet Earth!
Normally, I am opposed to vaccines. As someone born in late 60s, the only vaccine I took was for Small Pox which is long since eradicated from Indian soil. I vaguely recall my school giving me annual Malaria shots when it poured cats and dogs for successive monsoons in the early 80s. I haven’t even taken the anti-hepatitis shots although the men in my family have. Covid vaccine is my first serious vaccine really.
It is also true that not only is it in India, but in entire world the masses will be profiled undoubtedly with the vaccine information we provide to our governments. Our age bracket, our medical history, our indisputable IDs all give our sleuths voluminous material to grade us or track us. I just cannot dismiss the book 1984 by George Orwell out of my mind. I do feel like collared sometimes, tagged, like we radio-collar the wild animals in the bush or the cattle and sheep that graze in grasslands. Someone, our big brother, is watching. However, I relax in the thought that I have nothing to hide or lose. I am transparent and I have no reason to fear my government or law and order. I am not that worried about individual freedom that I wouldn’t want to comply with safety regulations which are for my own physical wellbeing. I have to stay alive to argue about suppression of human rights! Corona has me pinned to the floor. I have no choice but to go with my govenment.
The data that we file such as our vaccination records that carry our ID information and other private details such as previous medical history also is now going global as we fly to our destinations worldwide. We sign documents online and we register in various portals as we have to take off and land in different airports. We have downloaded covid apps in practically every single country and the bluetooth surveillance tracks our every move. We need permit to enter any space. Connecting the dots, I can hazily make out a global consensus on earth’s population. Classified data! Mindblowing stats which may otherwise be impossible to collect! How many inferences to intrapolate and extra-polate with all those jumbled figures! So what are they going to with all these numbers???
Sometimes I am glad that we have someone showing resistance at all to anything and everything. This could be a very small percentage but we need this kind of naysayers for our own benefit. We don’t know what lies ahead. We are instilled with a fear our parents and grandparents never knew in their lifetimes: the fear of the unknown.
As I blog this, the latest variant Omicron is hitting headlines around the world. One more story of negativity and psychological terror. Will we ever know normal times again? When will we achieve the herd immunity.
Many in India and the US criticize anti-vaxxers but covid vaccine is not in the same class as polio drops. There is a world of difference between the two. We need extensive research on certain issues that our media would not deliberately pickup. I am sick of the Indian tv channels that have become the mouthpiece of those in power. Real debates are not happening, what must be discussed is not spoken about.
Not even national security is strong enough reason to collect individual data the way world nations have been piling on since March 2020. Meanwhile covid is still here. How many more booster shots, nobody knows. How many more forms to fill and sign in, who knows. The only thing we haven’t affixed so far in our covid certificate is our right thumb impression.
Why are Indian mothers worried. My friend’s healthy daughter in her twenties in India went for double shots spaced out. She was having regular periods until then right from her menarche. Ever since taking her covid shots, the girl is having irregular periods. Her second dose was months back. After 6 months lapse finally her cycle is falling back into regular pattern. First 3 months, nothing. So is there a connectivity at all with covid vaccine and fertility. Research in this area vital with figures collected for conceptions made by couples after administration of both doses of covid vaccine.