Vaccination dilemma - GulfToday

Vaccination dilemma


India's Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says that the country plans to vaccinate 300 million people by August. Reuters

This is with reference to the COVID-19 vaccination drive in India. Covishield has been developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Covaxin has been produced by Bharat Biotech. The Phase 3 trials of Covaxin are not yet complete. Hence some doctors and health officials have expressed some reservations about it. Perhaps it would have been provident, to complete the phase 3 trials, release the data for independent analysis and review and only then authorise the vaccine for general public deployment.

The Health Minister of Chhattisgarh state in India, has refused to accept Covaxin, till the Phase 3 trials are complete. India has battled small-pox and polio with vaccines. So, Indians have always been receptive to vaccines. The resistance to Covaxin, may create an anti-vaccine sentiment in the country. Hence, it is important that the data of Phase 3 trials is made public as soon as the trials are complete.

The vaccination drive should be planned and executed seamlessly. India has had enough time to plan the rollout by state, city and village. In countries like the UK and the, people are given specific times to report to health clinics for the vaccination. Friends who have taken the vaccines in these countries, say the system operates like a well-oiled machine, marked by punctuality. India too, should strive for smooth execution of the vaccination drive.

Health authorities should also give priority to senior citizens with comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension, etc. Moreover, there are many citizens who are on wheelchairs or bed-ridden. They can only go to a hospital in an ambulance. Health authorities should launch an App or site, whereby such citizens can register their request for vaccinations to be administered to them at home.

Rajendra Aneja
Mumbai, India

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