Delhi resident doctors prefer Covishield over indigenous Covaxin in Covid-19 vaccination drive
New Delhi/IBNS: Within hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Covid-19 vaccination drive, the resident doctors of Delhi on Saturday preferred to be inoculated with Oxford vaccine, named Covishield in India, over the indigenous Covaxin.
The two vaccines, which have been permitted for an emergency use, are the Serum Institute of India (SII)'s Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
After Covaxin was preferred in Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in Delhi, the resident doctors of the healthcare wrote a letter to the medical superintendent clearing they might not participate in the vaccination drive out of their apprehensions about the particular vaccine, which was given clearance for rollout without completion of trials.
"Covaxin manufactured by Bharat Biotech is being preferred over Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute in our hospital...We would like to bring to your notice that the residents are a bit apprehensive about the lack of complete trial in the case of Covaxin and might not participate in huge numbers thus defeating the purpose of the vaccination," the Resident Doctors Association of the hospital said in the letter.
"We request you to vaccinate us with Covishield which has completed all stages of the trial before its rollout," the letter further added.
The same issue was flagged earlier by Congress parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor on Twitter.
After the permission for an emergency use granted to Covaxin, Tharoor had tweeted on Jan 4, "Any Covaxin user should note the Govt's 'approval' is on the basis of 'emergency' & on a 'clinical trial basis'. Bharat Biotech is yet to complete the process of recruitment of the targeted number of volunteers for Phase3 trials."
"In other words, those Indians who would be administered Covaxin would, in effect, be volunteers for the required third stage clinical trial - without the mandatory "informed consent". This is, to put it mildly, highly unusual. It is also ethically dubious."
2/2 In other words, those Indians who would be administered Covaxin would, in effect, be volunteers for the required third stage clinical trial - without the mandatory "informed consent". This is, to put it mildly, highly unusual. It is also ethically dubious. @BharatBiotech— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 4, 2021
Ending months of wait, Modi on Saturday morning launched the world's biggest vaccination drive, which in the first phase will inoculate about three health workers, who fought against the virus risking their own lives since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Jan, 2020.
The vaccination programme is using Co-WIN, an online digital platform developed by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which facilitates real time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries for Covid-19 vaccine.