The masks and sanitiser business is booming ever since COVID-19 arrived. Even Salman Khan started making one. This business, however, is nothing compared to the vaccines business that a lot of companies are fighting for at the moment. It has the potential to make overnight billionaires if the companies win government contracts. That is a huge motivator for excellence and hard work. It also however poses a great risk of corruption in medicine. As is the case with all things, chest-thumping nationalism has infiltrated the inner bounds of the science of vaccines and the results, I’m sorry to report, are very frightening.
What the hell does 110% and 200% safe even mean?
Does it mean this vaccine will give other powers on top of making you resistant to the coronavirus? Will Covaxin add 2 inches to your sausage AND fight the coronavirus? Or give you powers so you never forget what you came in the room for? It makes no sense for these arbitrary figures to be thrown around in a sector that is claiming to cure a pandemic. This kind of claim is only acceptable among teenage couples.
Nibba: I love you
Nibbi: I love you more
Nibba: I love you most
Nibbi: I love you mostest
Nibba: I love you mostestestest
See what I mean?
This kind of hyperbole should only be left to the kids and politicians, it has no place in science. Science and sentimentality are seldom compatible. These are scientists, not actors in a Bollywood movie! Bharat Biotech MS Krishna Ella has the following to say when questioned about the efficiency of their vaccine,
“India can innovate. It’s not a copycat country. We don’t deserve a backlash because we are an Indian company In India, we do everything systematically and yet we get bashing from the news media. A company has branded our vaccine as water. It hurts as a scientist and we don’t deserve that. Why is nobody questioning the UK trials? Because Indian trials are easy to be bashed”
It reads like the speech of a politician who has resorted to whataboutery. It is very disheartening to see our scientists who have the power to save the lives of billions of people talk in hyperbole and emotion. This comes from a company that wants to be treated like a global company and yet cannot follow international protocols and handle criticism, unlike a global company.
In a time when we need level-headed professionals, all I see is greedy businessmen ready to turn fear into money, while our government toots their “aatmanirbhar” trumpet from the back.