Representational picture
Representational picture

BHOPAL: Frontline workers (FLWs) will go with doctors’ advice as far as preference between Covishield and Covaxin is concerned. The vaccination programme for FLWs, who comprise policemen, civic body and revenue department staff and Home Guards, will start in Madhya Pradesh on Monday. There are around 2.89 lakh FLWs in the state. Health care workers (HCWs) have been given shots of Covishield and, now, frontline workers (FLWs) are going to get vaccinated from Monday. They have two options — Covaxin and Covishield.

There is a controversy over Covaxin as it is being used before completion of its trials. Phase 3 trials are continuing in Madhya Pradesh, so, the beneficiaries have to fill in a consent form in case of Covaxin doses. India’s drug regulator had permitted Bharat Biotech company to develop a homegrown vaccine. Since then the company has been buffeted by controversies ranging from government schedules to sporadic reports of adverse reactions. Matters came to a head after the government approved its shot before the completion of final human trials. That fuelled a revolt across the length and breadth of India with many at the frontlines of the pandemic refusing the company’s injection.

‘Doctors will decide’

"Policemen will go with doctors’ advice. Whatever the doctors advise at the session sites, we’ll follow without any hesitation. It is up to the doctors to decide which vaccines they want to administer to policemen according to protocol," said A Sai Manohar, I-G, police.

‘Both vaccines are the same for us’

"Both the vaccines — Covaxin and Covishield — are the same as far as we’re concerned. Filling in a consent form in case of Covaxin doesn’t make things any different as it’s a mere formality. Doctors’ advice is important for us according to protocol. So, for civic bodies’ staff, there’s no problem whether they’re given Covishield or Covaxin," remarked KVS Chaudhary, BMC commissioner.

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