Public opinion seems to be rather divided when it comes to the Bharat BioTech-ICMR COVID-19 vaccine that became part of a massive vaccination drive today. While many remain skeptical about the efficacy and safely of the vaccine, others are rushing to convince the populace that there is no problem.
Shortly after receiving a vaccine dose, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria spoke to news agency ANI reiterating his support for the two vaccines currently in use. Urging people to have faith in India's scientists and researchers, he assured that the vaccine was safe. "It is efficacious. We have to vaccinate a huge number of people and therefore we can't start being very choosy," he said.
However, while Guleria appears amenable to a lack of options, not everyone was on board. Shortly after this, resident doctors of Delhi's Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on Saturday refused to take 'Covaxin', expressing their preference for the other alternative.
They are not alone. Over the last few weeks, many people have expressed apprehension about taking the vaccine, due to the fact that it lacks data from the third phase of clinical trials. In fact, while the government is reportedly not giving people a choice of vaccines, those taking Covaxin will have to sign a consent form. By signing this form, the person taking the vaccine acknowledges that they are aware that the trial data is yet to be collated.
"In case of any adverse events or serious adverse events, you will be provided medically recognised standard of care in the government designated and authorised centres/hospitals. The compensation for serious adverse event will be paid by sponsor (BBIL) in case if the SAE is proven to be causally related to the vaccine," the consent form adds.