New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Resident doctors at Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital on Saturday expressed reservations over taking Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ due to its incomplete clinical trial data and requested the hospital administration to vaccinate them with the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’.
In a letter to the medical superintendent, the doctors wrote, “The residents 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 the trial before its rollout.”
Covaxin has been in the spotlight since it received the approval from the drug regulator earlier this month. The approval without adequate efficacy data drew flak from public health advocacy groups, researchers, scientists and activists.
In Delhi, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has been allotted to six Centre-run hospitals – AIIMS, Safdarjung, RML, Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital and two ESI hospitals, while 75 Delhi government and private hospitals have received Covishield.
Dr Nirmalaya Mohapatra, Vice-President of the hospital’s Resident Doctors Association told IANS, “We are not of the view that one vaccine is superior than the another, but in the absence of Covaxin’s data, we should be given Covishield.”
Meanwhile, to allay the fears, Medical Superintendent of RML Hospital Dr A.K. Singh Rana himself took the Covaxin shot earlier on Saturday. At the central government-run AIIMS, Director Dr Randeep Guleria and NITI Aayog member V.K. Paul also took the shot.
Besides this, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain also assured people that there is no need to be afraid. “There is no need to be afraid. Experts are right,” Jain told IANS on being asked about vaccine hesitation among people arising out of lack of trust on the regulatory process.
The most-awaited nationwide vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus infection commenced on Saturday. As many as three lakh healthcare workers are slated to be inoculated with doses of either Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin or Oxford’s Covishield at 3,006 session sites across the country.