BHOPAL: Amidst the allegations that Bhopal gas survivors are being targeted for the Covid-19 vaccine trials, the People's College of Medical Sciences & Research Centre (PCMS), conducting COVAXIN trials, has come out with a clarification that no community is being targeted or lured.
The clarification comes following the death of one of the COVAXIN volunteers Deepak Maravi on December 21. PCMS is conducting clinical trials of COVAXIN.
Maravi was administered COVAXIN jab on December 12 at the medical college under its ongoing trials for the vaccine. PCMS clarified that all medical protocols concerning the vaccine are being followed while conducting the vaccine trials. The institute said that it neither lures any community nor targets anyone for the vaccine trial.
The medical institute said that “In case of Deepak Maravi, after shots, PCMS consistently remained in touch with the volunteer as a part of follow-up for 7-8 days as per protocol. And on December 21, his son informed the PCMS about Deepak Maravi’s death. We followed the same pattern for all the volunteers who have been given shots of COVAXIN.” Deepak was given shots on December 12 and he died on December 21, 2020.
PCMS dean Dr Anil Dixit and Vice Chancellor of People’s University Dr Rajesh Kapoor, in a joint press conference on Monday, said, “PCMS neither lure any community (gas victims) nor target any community for the ongoing COVAXIN trials. It is a coincidence that PCMS is located in a place, where gas victims reside in the surrounding. As per protocol, we have to pick up volunteers from within the periphery of 4 kilometres so that they could be easily followed up.”
Dr Dixit said, “As per protocol, a sum of Rs750, which is given to volunteers whether they are literate or illiterate, is in form a reasonable full day wage. There various schemes of government so the health care workers advertise it in periphery areas for the people. Simultaneously, they also propagate COVAXIN Trial.”
‘Bhopal gas survivors being targeted for vaccine trials’: Bhopal gas tragedy survivors have called for banning the ongoing clinical trial of Covaxin on the gas victims. They have alleged that the gas victims are being targeted for the vaccine trials. The gas victims alleged that in 2010, thirteen gas victims had died during a drug trial at Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) and no action was taken then and this time also the gas victims are being targeted for vaccine trials and it resulted in the death of Deepak Maravi, they added.
The gas victims are illiterate and so they are easily lured with cash payment for vaccine trial, they further added. The gas survivors have written to PM Narendra Modi urging him to immediately stop the ongoing clinical trial of Covaxin in Bhopal.