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Prelims Capsule

Human Development

Novak Djokovic wins court case to stay in Australia, Judges orders release from detention

Novak Djokovic wins court case to stay in Australia, Judges orders release from detention


  • GS 2 || Governance & Social Justice || Human Development || Health

Why in news?

Novak Djokovic wins court case to stay in Australia.


  • The world No. 1’s visa was revoked when he arrived at Melbourne Airport last week, after Australian border officials determined that he did not fulfil the threshold for an exemption from the requirement that all non-citizens be completely vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Djokovic has spent the last four nights in an Australian immigration detention facility, and his attorneys have submitted paperwork claiming that he has been given the all-clear following a positive Covid-19 test in December.

Vaccine Hesitancy:

Vaccine hesitancy is defined by the World Health Organization as a reluctance or refusal to be vaccinated notwithstanding the availability of vaccine services. It has been reported in over 90% of the world’s countries, including India. It’s complicated and context-dependent, varying over time, place, and the vaccination itself, and is influenced by a number of things.

Instances of Vaccine Hesitancy:

  • In 2019, over 4,24,000 children worldwide have been diagnosed with measles, compared to 1,73,000 in 2018.
  • In the early 2000s, underprivileged populations in Uttar Pradesh were reported to have taken five times the recommended dose of oral polio vaccine.

Causes of Vaccine Hesitancy:

  • Misinformation: Misinformation is the primary source of vaccination apprehension. Due to a complex combination of cognitive, social, and computational biases, such as information overload and short attention spans, people are particularly vulnerable to disinformation.
  • Religious Propaganda: Some people fear that the vaccine may contain microorganisms, chemicals, or animal-derived materials that are prohibited by religious beliefs.
  • Vaccine-preventable diseases: For example, the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) contains a live but weakened poliovirus. This virus is secreted by inoculated youngsters after receiving the vaccination, and it can spread from one person to another. As a result, the virus persists and mutates into a more virulent form, increasing the risk of vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV).
  • Social Media: It is being used to instil fear in individuals by falsely blaming vaccines for diseases that are unrelated to them. It has seen an increase in the number of self-proclaimed specialists decoding the ingredients and efficacy of vaccinations using dubious claims.
  • Side Effects:Many people are hesitant to take vaccines, particularly during the early stages of the immunisation campaign, due to worries about the vaccine’s safety, efficacy, and potential side effects.
  • Inconvenience:People are hesitant to engage in the vaccination push because of the challenges they have in obtaining the vaccine, particularly when it is administered through public hospitals, which are in poor shape.

Measures to Combat Vaccine Hesitancy:

  • Effective communication:The government should concentrate on the swing population, or those who are sceptical but can be swayed by scientific evidence and effective communication.
    • Information about the vaccine and its development that is open to the public. For people’s questions, a gateway can be set up.
  • Discuss the robustness of several processes involved in vaccine development: Clinical trial designs, conduct, monitoring, analysis, reporting, and the regulatory evaluations that occur before it is approved to give the public trust.
  • Famous faces should be used for vaccination program awareness:To persuade individuals, use the celebrity effect, which is the capacity of well-known persons such as politicians, bureaucrats, movie stars, and even religious leaders to persuade others to take immunizations.
  • To prevent unfettered spread of misinformation, people should cultivate an inquiring attitude toward everything they learn on social media about the vaccine, its research, efficacy, or side effects.
    • Use social media platforms to dispel any vaccine misconceptions and raise awareness.
    • Incentives can be used to encourage people to become vaccinated.

Benefits of Vaccine:

  • According to WHO, vaccination prevents between two-three million deaths each year, a figure that will rise by another 1.5 million if vaccine coverage improves.
  • Vaccination protects children from serious illness and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases which can include amputation of an arm or leg, paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, brain damage, and death.
    • A study in 2017 that looked at flu seasons between 2010 and 2014 found that vaccination reduced flu-associated deaths by 65% among healthy children.
  • The vaccine can also prevent hospitalization (thereby it can check out of pocket expenditure), reduce the severity of illness and prevent severe, life-threatening complications in children.

Way Forward:

  • Vaccination as the default approach: Some countries have imposed restrictions on families that refuse to get vaccinated.
    • In France, vaccination with 11 vaccinations is required for children; unvaccinated children are not permitted to attend nurseries or schools.
    • In Australia, parents who do not vaccinate their children are not eligible for the universal Family Allowance welfare payments.
  • Creating a sense of trust: The vaccine manufacturer can provide open and honest information concerning adverse effects as well as assurances about a reliable vaccine safety system.
    • They may also answer concerns about vaccine advantages, safety, and immunologic factors, as well as give links to a variety of internet resources for physicians and parents.
  • Digital Algorithms: Google, Facebook, and other social media sites can be asked to ensure that people only see reputable, science-based vaccine material.
  • Influential people or celebrities should speak out to refute the falsehoods that lead to vaccine apprehension.


Vaccine apprehension jeopardises decades of progress in decreasing the burden of infectious diseases that have afflicted civilization for generations. Myths and disinformation about vaccination will be addressed through a coordinated effort between paediatricians, family doctors, parents, public health officials, governments, the technology industry, and civil society.

Mains oriented question:

The word “vaccine hesitancy” is defined. Examine the grounds for vaccine apprehension in India. (250 words)