Even after the government declares Covaxin as 100% safe, people remain hesitant to receive the homegrown vaccine due to its status of ‘approved under clinical trial mode’.
Covishield over Covaxin
Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) of the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi expressed their apprehension over Covaxin in a letter. They stated that they would like to receive Covishield instead of Covaxin under the vaccination drive being conducted in their hospital. Citing the lack of complete trial in Covaxin, the doctors said they would prefer Covishield as it has completed all phase of trials. Similarly, the Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association (TNGDA) recommended its members to get Covishield shot. Also, Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors wrote to state Health Minister about the safety concerns of Covaxin.
Covaxin Is Safe- AIIMS Director
Addressing all the concerns raised by health experts, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Singh Guleria reassured that Covaxin is safe. Further, he added that people should have faith in scientists and researchers of India and hence should take part in the nationwide vaccination drive. Also, the Health Ministry released a comparative factsheet for Covid-19 vaccines including information on contraindication and special precautions for vaccinators.
The politicians, including Chief Ministers and the Prime Minister, will receive the Covid-19 vaccine in the second phase.
Commercial shipment of Covid-19 vaccines
Meanwhile, India will start commercial shipment of Covid-19 vaccines from 23rd January. The first shipment will go to Brazil and Morocco on Friday. After that, it will deliver vaccines to Saudi Arabia and South Africa. It has also already sent consignments of Covid-19 vaccines to its neighbours, including Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Bangladesh. India’s foreign secretary, Harish Singla, said that Covid-19 vaccines from India are in huge demand. Hence, the country is looking ahead for global collaboration in manufacturing and R&D fields.
The Serum Institute of India has partnered with AstraZeneca to make around one billion shots of the vaccine.
In all, skepticism over the vaccine is hindering the progress of the vaccination drive in the country. Currently, people do not have a choice in which vaccine they want. It is up to state government. Also, rumours about its side-effects are baseless. But doctors and healthcare workers want to have a right to choose the vaccine. After all, everybody wants to see the pandemic ending but not at the cost of making things worse.