'No Data On Jabs': Karnataka Health Workers Doubtful On Taking COVID Vaccine

A lot of experts have said that the Central Government should have waited for Covaxin’s efficacy studies to be completed before giving a green light to its rollout.

Karnataka   |   15 Jan 2021 9:25 AM GMT
Editor : Shubhendu Deshmukh | Creatives : Rishab Shaju
No Data On Jabs: Karnataka Health Workers Doubtful On Taking COVID Vaccine

Image Credits: The New Indian Express

Frontline workers, who are first in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, are galled by the fact that they have don't have a choice between the Serum Institute's Covishield vaccine and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. Several workers have now reconsidered their decision of receiving the vaccine.

With Phase 1 of the vaccine administration, all set to launch on Saturday, many people are planning to reconsider the decision of taking the vaccine particularly due to the lack of data on the safety of the Covaxin vaccine. Several experts have also said that the Central Government should have waited for Covaxin's efficacy studies to be completed before giving the green light to its rollout.

"The government has indicated that there will not be a choice between Covishield or Covaxin. While both are under restricted emergency use, one of them is still awaiting efficacy studies to be completed. It has also been approved specifically under clinical trial mode where specific consent will presumably need to be taken. This might raise questions about (lack of) choice, and could impact uptake," Anant Bhan, a bio-ethics researcher, told The New Indian Express.

Several healthcare workers have also pointed out that at the time of the approval of the two vaccines, experts like Dr Bhargava and Dr Randeep Guleria of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, had said that the Covaxin would remain as a 'back-up' until and unless its efficacy data from the Phase-3 trials would be made available.

"Also, both vaccines are publicly funded, and both have issues with lack of data. For Covaxin, Phase-3 trials are still going on, and no raw data is available. And for both the vaccines, information around adverse effects remains opaque. There is also concern among the medical fraternity regarding the rollout, especially around adverse effects following neurological symptoms and the issues in Bhopal," said the doctors.

Nevertheless, Dr Jayanthi C R of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMRCI) said that people should not be double-minded about taking the vaccine since the government would have taken the decision keeping in mind the health and safety of people.

"In many countries, more than one vaccine has been given. We need not worry or panic. The earlier data available shows that both the vaccines are safe," said Dr Jayanthi.

According to Dr Bhan, "Only one type of vaccine will be available for recipients. This might be due to logistical constraints of limited supply." Experts also wonder if the government is administering Covaxin in some places due to logistic constraints.

Also Read: Vaccine Makers To Be Liable For Adverse Effects Of Their Vaccination In India

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Rishab Shaju

Rishab Shaju

(Remote Intern)

A passionate, confident, and energetic student, I am a workaholic with an interest in the field of Broadcast Journalism. I always make sure to meet my deadlines and can work well under pressure. Other than journalism, I am also interested in the field of Psychology and Literature. Timeliness and honesty are the two most important factors that define me. If not journalism, I would want to be a professor or a social worker.

Shubhendu Deshmukh

Shubhendu Deshmukh

Digital Editor

Shubhendu, the quint essential news junky, the man who loves science and politics in equal measure and offers the complete contrast to it by being a fan of urdu poetry as well.

Rishab Shaju

Rishab Shaju

(Remote Intern)

A passionate, confident, and energetic student, I am a workaholic with an interest in the field of Broadcast Journalism. I always make sure to meet my deadlines and can work well under pressure. Other than journalism, I am also interested in the field of Psychology and Literature. Timeliness and honesty are the two most important factors that define me. If not journalism, I would want to be a professor or a social worker.

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