By Prof. Waswa Balunywa, PhD
In part IV we discussed the solutions to the Coronavirus pandemic. In this part we continue with the discussion of solutions. This leads me to the fourth solution, the vaccines. Vaccines have been developed by Scientists as a means of preventing people from being infected by a certain disease. The world has vaccines for flu, polio, tetanus, hepatitis B, mumps among others. According to the Centers for Diseases prevention and Control CDC, a vaccine contains the same germs that cause the disease, but they have either been killed or weakened. When a Vaccine is administered to person, the body develops an immunity to the disease, thus reducing the chances of infection. Viruses are infections that spread very quickly and can be dangerous to mankind. To prevent them from killing people massively, vaccines are developed against them.
Coronaviruses have always existed, however a new strain appeared in Wuhan, China in November 2019, it was termed as COVID-19; Corona (Co) Virus (VI) Disease(D) 2019 (19). COVID 19 has disrupted the world tremendously, because of its dangerous effects, countries had to take preventive measures by declaring lockdowns to slowdown the rate of spreading infections as long term solutions were being explored. A Vaccine is believed to be long-term or lasting solution and the vaccine for COVID-19 was found.
Developing a vaccine is a process, it takes time, between 5-10 years and sometimes longer. According to public information, the COVID-19 vaccine was produced in less than a year! HIV AIDs has been with us for 30 years, there is no vaccine! This reveals weaknesses in our political systems and global priorities. COVID-19 vaccines are thus riddled with controversies.
At the beginning of 2020, varying information was floating around about the virus and the vaccine. Let’s starts with the one where the virus was intentionally produced to create a market for vaccines for the big pharmaceutical companies. In fact, it is reported that in the first quarter of 2021, the pharmaceutical companies declared dividends worth US$ 26 billion to shareholders! This money is believed to be enough to vaccinate the whole of Africa. All this coming from the sale of vaccines! So if the virus was created for purposes of making a vaccine to make money; well, people are making money and at the expense of others, with illnesses they did not bring to themselves.
It is also rumored that the vaccine came out much earlier than what we know publicly?! I love rumors, they make up anything. That means that the virus was created intentionally. But who knows, who can conform this? You need an article from the British Journal of Medical Science. That is one part of the vaccine stories, why it was created, nobody can confirm.
So this year, the government of Uganda was able to get a vaccine. It is reported that 864,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca Vaccine were procured for people in the priority sectors. That is those in essential services like Medical, Security, and Education. The people who continuously interact with others. Vaccines in Uganda are controversial, so yes the vaccine was received with skepticism by the public because there is a “history” about vaccines in this country which is reported to have been associated with HIV AIDs.
An article by Mafigiri, Matovu and Wanyenze (2017) that appeared in BM Public Health states that HIV first appeared in Uganda in Kasensero and Lukunyu in 1982 in Rakai district. Rakai has always been known to have a high HIV infection rate compared to other places in Uganda. The stories which emerged from folks from the region associated HIV with vaccinations. It is said that some families were wiped out after vaccination. This changed peoples’ attitudes and yet scientifically, vaccination it is supposed to solve the problem.
When the vaccine was introduced in the country there was this feeling that it was not a good thing. The comments on social media were anti-vaccine. The reaction of Ugandans was predictable, they rejected the vaccine. With a new vicious wave, they have started looking for the vaccine! It is important that this is clarified properly to the ordinary Ugandans.
The third is that certain individuals believe that the world is overpopulated, and that one way to reduce the population is kill some people off. What better way to do this than through a mass vaccination? With a mass vaccination, the perpetrators have access to many people. In an article on Reuter of March 30, statements attributed to Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab on this issue were refuted.
Another conspiracy theory is that some people want to be able to control everybody in the world. To reiterate, access to millions of people can be gained is through vaccination. The idea is that during vaccination, a chip would be inserted into a person, this chip would then be used to keep track of the person in order to know where they are and what they are doing at any given time. Further to this claim is that, after vaccination when you put a coin at the site of the injection there should be some kind of magnetic pull, which indicates that you have a chip in your body.
All these theories go towards creating confusion in the population especially the well-educated population. For the peasants, they really don’t understand this. Yes, some of them feel that the vaccine has been made to kill them, but they also know when the government says get vaccinated, they will get vaccinated. Indeed, there is need to vaccinate Ugandans. Irrespective of all the conspiracy theories. Another more recent controversy, after getting some people vaccinated is that the vaccine does not work, that it doesn’t prevent you from getting infected! Indeed, some people who have been fully vaccinated have fallen sick and some have died.
In addition, some news is going around that you may be required to get an additional shot in the future on top of the “full vaccination”, let’s call it a top up. You will find all kinds of videos talking about the vaccine and its impact. Does it cure? Of course, it doesn’t cure, vaccines are not supposed to cure. They are supposed to prevent. Now, does it actually prevent? We are not sure; the evidence is not firm. I know two people who actually died after the two shots. On the other hand, these were old people with underlying medical conditions! Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez tested positive after receiving two doses of vaccine.
Most of this is information circulating about the Astra Zeneca vaccine. You can never tell whether they are competition vibes or real genuine conclusions. When you hear what is being said you wonder, why is the vaccine actually being used? Another controversy is, where is the Vaccine made?. The world is full of politics, competitive geo-politics. The Western countries are competing with China and Russia. When the Russian Vaccine Sputnik V came out, the Western press reported that it was not effective. When the Chinese Vaccine came out, the Western Press also reported that it was not effective.
It is alleged that, the Chinese will not give you a Visa, unless, you have been vaccinated by the vaccine made by them. Even within the Western countries, it is said they will not grant you a visa unless if you have been vaccinated by vaccines from the West! What is interesting is that even within the Western Countries manufacturers of the vaccines are controversial. Who the manufacturer is. Is it Pfizer? Is it the competing company Janssen? All these are controversies about the Vaccines and the person who suffers is the ordinary poor man, who doesn’t know the impact of the Vaccine and whether it is works or not.
This creates an additional problem for the world. More so for the poor Africans who have to seek everything from abroad. Not only to get the vaccine but also to borrow money to buy the vaccine! A drug, wherever it is produced should have a degree of effectiveness which has been tested with time. The problem with the Coronavirus vaccine is that it has not been tested with time as it is said, it takes about 10 years to produce one. So if a vaccine is produced in less than a year, then it creates doubt about its effectiveness. These are some of the controversies about the vaccine. As indicated, vaccines are the long-term solution to the challenge of the Coronavirus and indeed any other diseases that the world frequently faces.
To be Continued in………. Part VI