‘Vaccine For Kids Is Heartening News For All Parents’

Shefali Malhotra, 40, a Noida-based entrepreneur and mother of a 10-year old, says she is both happy and anxious about the soon-to-be-rolled out Covid vaccines for children in India

I’m very relieved that finally a vaccine has been rolled out for children. In fact not one but two: Covaxin and ZyCovD. While the government has confirmed the use of ZyCovD in the immunisation drive for children from 2-18, the final decision is still awaited in the case of Covaxin. As a mother of a young child this is heartening news for me.

The third wave has been predicted after the festive season and it is being said that the paediatric population would be more at risk during the third wave. So it’s great news that the clinical trials of the vaccines have been done and they might be rolled out for children soon.

My only child, Samarth, is 10. So, my husband and I kept wondering when his turn for the jab would come. However, we don’t plan to rush in and get our son vaccinated once the process starts, even though clinical trials on different age groups of children have been thoroughly done. We plan to wait and watch, though not for too long. Call it a balanced, pragmatic approach if you will.

As a mother of a young child, one does get apprehensive about what side effects these vaccines might carry. These are growing kids and as such their bodies are going to react differently than that of adults. Moreover, their immunity isn’t as strong as that of grown-ups that they can fight back well in case of severe side effects.

Malhotra says outdoor activities have been limited for her son, Samarth, for the last two years

So in my opinion, we should be extra careful and do our research well before the vaccine can be administered. We should choose properly which vaccine we want our kid to be administered. One is prepared for the mild fever, body aches etc. but I would ensure I properly communicate with my child both before and after the vaccination to ensure the whole process is smooth for him.

In the past two years the kids haven’t been exposed to the elements much and their physical activities have gone down because they were cooped up inside the house for most part of the pandemic. There were reports/studies that since kids didn’t go out and play in the open, their immunity has taken a nosedive. Many of them have gained weight too because of lack of exercise and yet many others didn’t know how to manage their feelings of not being able to go out, go to school, meet friends. Kids have had a more difficult time making sense of the pandemic.

ALSO READ: ‘Won’t Send My Kid To School Without Vaccination

I ensured that I was communicating well with my child throughout the pandemic. That way he wouldn’t be apprehensive or afraid of vaccination because he has most of his questions answered by his parents. We need to ease our kids into the vaccination process.

Also, the timing will be important. During my vaccination in May, I had a wisdom tooth issue. But I decided to go ahead and get my shot before getting the tooth extracted, though it aggravated my pain. I wouldn’t want my kid to go through any pain, just like any parent. My husband and I had spaced out our doses so that one parent would be in a good condition to take care of the child. If someone has more than one child, they should space out the doses of their children so they could be taken care of well.

I am happy that my child has begun to participate in outdoor activities like cycling, badminton etc. and I want him to have his childhood back. The two years that went without play, hope the vaccines will make up for that. His school has opened, though not fully, and vaccination would mean our child is safe in any surrounding. I hope the pandemic gets fully over soon.

As Told To Yog Maya Singh

‘I Won’t Take Any Vaccine, And I Have My Reasons’

Ginni Khurana, 36, a Faridabad-based homemaker explains why she believes that vaccination is not the most effective way to fight a virus, only a nature-based lifestyle is

I lost both my parents to Covid-19. Last year my mom and I contracted the virus at the same time in June. While I survived despite my diabetes, my mother couldn’t make it. This year, I lost my father during the second wave. Despite the heartbreak and the agony I have suffered in a year, I don’t want to take the vaccine. And I have my reasons for it; please bear with me.

I have worked as a Mathematics teacher and I don’t take anything at face value. I believe in something only when I am fully convinced by it. And right now, I believe that taking a vaccine is not in my best interest. I developed Type II diabetes while I was pregnant with my twin boys in 2017. It is then that I chanced upon a YouTube video by Dr Biswaroop Roychowdhury. He is what you would call a naturopath and believes in the efficacy of traditional methods of healing.

When I tested Dr Roychowdhury’s solutions for my health issues, they seemed to work for me. My diabetes got under control without any medicines. I believe one must go for allopathic medicines only under extreme circumstances and should try a more nature-based lifestyle in regular times.

Ginni would not want her twin children (right) to be vaccinated either

When I contracted the virus last year, I followed his coconut water plus citrus juice-based diet and didn’t go for any medicines. When I got myself tested after a fortnight, I tested negative. I have lived to tell the tale, so to speak. Dr Roychowdhury doesn’t recommend vaccines and since I believe so deeply in him and his methods, I don’t want to do anything that he doesn’t suggest. After recovering from Covid, using the diet I mentioned earlier, I recommended the same to others, including my father. However, he refused to take it and had to get hospitalised and finally succumbed there.

I have been hearing that many corporate offices etc are withholding salary if one doesn’t get vaccinated. A vaccination certificate is becoming an important prerequisite for many things, including inter-state travel. So I will fend off taking a jab as long as possible, until I am forced to take it.

ALSO READ: Covid-19 – Nemesis Of Age Of Reason

I’m not the sort of person who imposes my views on anyone. But if anyone sees my opinion, I recommend them not to take the vaccine. Dr Roychowdhury says, one’s immunity gets strengthened if one remains in a happy state of mind or in other words, happiness is the best immunity, laughter the best medicine. I do my regular Buddhist chanting, stay involved with my kids with all my heart and read a lot to keep myself in a happy state of mind. I believe that I do not need a vaccine.

However, that doesn’t mean I am not keeping an eye on the news surrounding the virus or the vaccines. During the second wave it was said that people who had diabetes were more susceptible to black fungus too if they had contracted the virus, but I am doing totally fine. I am now hearing about the Guillain-Barre syndrome that happens to people who have taken the Covishield vaccine. So many people in my extended family have caught the virus even after taking the vaccine. So what’s the point of taking a jab, may I ask?

I care about my husband and kids, but I still wouldn’t like them to take the vaccine (though my kids are too young right now). Many a research say that vaccines can cause more harm than good. For all of us, what we choose to believe in becomes our reality and right now I choose not to believe in the efficacy of vaccines. Or you may say I choose to believe in the efficacy of natural remedies.

Watch – ‘Full Faith In Vaccine; Even Paracetamol Has Side-Effects’

As India launches mass vaccination programme against Covid-19, several political leaders expressed apprehension about its purpose and efficacy. However, as LokMarg spoke to a cross-section of people about the serum shot, common people deride politicization of a medical process.

Most of the people expressed undeterred faith in the “indigenous vaccine” and said they were ready to get the jab as and when it is available. About possible side-effects, they said even as common a medicine as paracetamol also has some side-effects. And this is not the only vaccine which has some side-effects, each and every serum has some temporary adverse impact on the body.

Watch the full video here