Life & Style

A thumbs up for COVID-19 vaccination with a song by doctors

A group of doctors, from across the world, have come together with a song in Tamil and English to motivate people to get vaccinated.

Played over the score of ‘Roop Tera Mastana’ from the Bollywood classic Aradhana, the song has registered more than 18k views within 24 hours (the video was uploaded on YouTube on Friday). “As more people watch it, the urgency to get vaccinated will hopefully translate,” says Madurai-based ophthalmologist Dr Badri NarayananThiagarajan, who appears for a split second in the video, along with 40 other contemporaries belonging to the 1978 class of Madurai Medical College (MMC).

The idea of a song to motivate people came from his batchmate, Dr KRK Baskar, a general practitioner with the NHS in the UK. Over a phone call from Manchester, Dr Baskar says it has been difficult for him to convince his parents and in-laws living in Madurai, to take the COVID shot. “As a doctor who has taken both the doses, I could not up the confidence of my family members. I find a general reluctance among Indians to take the injection. A lot of my non-medico friends and acquaintances keep calling me to check if they should go for it,” he says.

This made him wonder about the millions who are perhaps still debating whether to get vaccinated. Three weeks ago, he put out a message on the WhatsApp groups of MMC batchmates in India and abroad. “We all felt as frontline warriors spearheading the vaccination drive, we should be able to address peoples’ fears,” he says.

Baskar took 48 hours to pen down the lyrics. “I wanted to keep the wordings simple and direct for people to understand easily,” he says.

A thumbs up for COVID-19 vaccination with a song by doctors

The seven-minute video has six doctors singing the song with Baskar taking the lead. ‘Covid Vaccine song’ is about the need to take Covishield or Covaxin to build antibodies against the coronavirus. The song also addresses the common issues such as side effects.

Despite backing his concept, a majority of his classmates were shy of singing. So, Baskar added their photographs showing a thumbs up, as a sign of encouragement."When so many doctors from Tamil Nadu to Dubai, Malaysia and the UK have joined to send a positive message, it is likely to have a powerful impact," he adds.

Baskar says the pandemic-induced lockdown helped him to live his childhood dream. "I always wanted to learn music but had to study medicine for a living and the last three decades were lost to work," says the 60-year-old, who has also made music videos on topics such as hair loss, osteoarthritis and diabetes and sung them solo over popular Tamil music tracks.

"The Covid vaccine song is a team work to fight vaccine hesitation because herd immunity will help to bring down the prevalence rate of coronarvirus infection," says Baska's batchmate, Dr.Mehboob Ali from Birminghan, UK. “If we want to return to normalcy, then we should get vaccinated,” says Baskar, adding that his family is now been vaccinated.

(The link to the song has been added in this article)

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 6:00:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/a-covid-vaccine-song-by-doctors/article34140369.ece

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