India’s fight against Covid 19 started with zeal and zest

ArticleIndia’s fight against Covid 19 started with zeal and zest


India’s fight against Covid 19 started with zeal and zest

Like other adverse propoaganda anti vaccine rumours will also not succeed

Ubaidullah Nasir

Definitely it was a great day for India when world’s largest vaccination derive was started against corona virus. About 1.91 lakh people were inoculated across the country and thanks God no report of adverse effect from anywhere in the country is received as claimed by the union health ministry. In phase one of the immunization exercise 3 crore people in the priority group of the health care and frontline workers are to be vaccinated. On first day (Saturday the 16th January) 3352 session were held. On the breakup of Covishield and Covaxin the health ministry data showed that while the first vaccine developed by Oxford –Astra Zeneca and manufactured by Pune’s Serum Institute had been supplied to all states and UTs the home developed Covaxin was administered in clinical trial mode in 12 states. Each session site could administer one of the two vaccines.

The two approved vaccines are Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. Those who receiving Covaxin have been asked to sign a consent form before being vaccinated as the vaccine has been allowed by the government in clinical trial mode. This consent form adds that in case of any adverse effect the compensation will be paid by the company if it is proven to be casually related to the vaccine. The clinical efficacy of Covaxin is yet to be established and it is still being studied in phase three clinical trials. Hence it is important to appreciate that receiving the vaccine does not mean that other precautions related to Covid 19 need not follow. This is the major bone of contention between the government and those who are opposing the vaccination that why without completing the crucial phase three trial and bringing complete data in public domain the vaccines is being administered. There was an rivalry too between the two vaccine developing companies the serum Institute and Bharat Bio-tech. This rivalry took such serious turn that Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was compelled to intervene. According to a report in a reputed English daily the PMO directed the two companies to issue a joint letter that they were coordinating in fight against Covid 19. However, it is not clear who was responsible for influencing the expert committee on vaccine approval to grant immediate clearance to Covaxin of Bharat Bio-tech. The paper reveals that according to the minutes of the meeting of expert committee Bharat Bi-tech was asked to first submit additional research data as the company had not completed its phase three trials but within a day the panel reconvened to approve the vaccine. It is a big WHY? According to the informed sources Bharat Bi-tech has the blessings of Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailing the work of health care workers, frontline workers and scientists who at great personal risk during the pandemic brought hope in an atmosphere of dejection. In a televised address during the launch in which he made fervent appeals and turned emotional while recalling the nation’s debt to those who never returned home and sacrificed their lives to save the lives of others. He however, asked the people not to lower their guard even after vaccine. He urged people not to abandon the mask and maintain the physical distance. Indian vaccines are much cheaper than foreign ones and easier, more conducive to India’s conditions. The cost of a single abroad is about Rs. 5000/- and has to be kept in freezers at minus 70 degree temperature, India-manufactured vaccines are best suited to us. Our scientists our experts gave permission for emergency use only after they were satisfied about the safety and effectiveness of our indigenously developed vaccines” he said. He also appealed people to stay away from any type of rumours and false propoganda against these vaccines.

Rumour mongering and adverse propaganda against any such scientific achievement and health care derive is not new. We were told that at the time of construction of Bhakra Nangal dam immediately after independence it was propogated that after electricity is derived from the water it becomes useless for irrigation now we may laugh to hear this propaganda but during that period it was trusted or at least was the topic of discussion in Chaupals and other gatherings similarly anti small pox vaccination derive and anti polio derive the rumour mill was at its best to propogate that it will make children impotent but in spite of all such adverse propaganda and laughable rumour mongering all such derives succeeded due to the resolve of the government and public at large. We are sure that anti Covid 19 vaccination derive will also be a great success and help in eradicating this disease and save the humanity. Science will prevail upon superistition and disease.

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