Updated: January 17, 2021 6:20:30 am
The Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital Saturday requested the medical superintendent to vaccinate them with Covishield, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India. The hospital is among six institutes in the capital that are administering Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
In a letter to the medical superintendent, the association said: “Resident doctors are a bit apprehensive about the lack of complete trial in case of Covaxin and might not participate in huge numbers, thus defeating the purpose of vaccination. We request you to vaccinate us with Covishield which has completed all stages of trial before its rollout.”
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Covid vaccination drive and asserted that the made-in-India vaccine being rolled out will ensure a “decisive victory” for the country over the pandemic.
Covaxin, jointly made by Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with ICMR and National Institute of Virology, has been given restricted approval “in emergency situation in public interest as an abundant precaution, in clinical trial mode, to have more options for vaccinations, especially in case of infection by mutant strains”.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, who visited the hospital to take stock of the vaccination drive, said: “We can only tell you our view point and from our view point, both vaccines are equally good and safe. The whole country has welcomed the move very happily. Time and again, we are trying to tell everybody to believe in what experts are saying. Experts have done good quality research and put their heart and soul in bringing out the vaccine.”
In the capital, six central government hospitals — AIIMS, Safdarjung, RML, Kalawati Saran Children Hospital and two ESI hospitals — have been chosen as sites for Covaxin, while 75 are giving Covishield.
Said Dr Nirmalya Mohapatra, the RDA vice-president, “We don’t want to be treated like guinea pigs under clinical trials. Residents in the hospital had voluntarily registered for the vaccination programme but as they came to know about the vaccine being used in the institute, many of them expressed apprehensions.”
Dr AK Rana, medical superintendent, said: “I will try to speak to the residents on Monday. The decision to change the vaccine is to be taken by top authorities.”
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