22 June 2021
Vaccines have actually made their way to Madagascar, largely thanks to the Covax program. Not only to Madagascar, but to my provincial town! I thought my chances of being vaccinated were near zero as a relatively young and healthy foreigner. But after initially restricting vaccinations to special categories, they were soon opened to whoever wanted them, as apparently most folks are afraid of being vaccinated. I had no such fear! I eagerly lined up last Friday, and received an injection of CovidShield, which is the generic version of the AstroZeneca jab made in India. It packed a punch! I have spent the last four days experiencing a mild redux of my two-week battle with covid, back in March. But in a way I'm happy, as I know it has really activated my immune system. Hopefully in combination with a recent infection it will confer a high degree of protection going forwards. There was a strange joy to being vaccinated. It gave some tangibility to my hopes for the end of this blasted pandemic, though in truth, we're still a long way from defeating it in Madagascar. The vaccine folks told me that only 1500 people have been vaccinated so far. That's out of around 100,000 in the town, and many more in the surrounding region. Nonetheless, it's a positive development, and I'm happy that USAid is helping to fund this. It seems to me that vaccinating the whole world would be a very worthy investment, even from cynical financial moties.