Coronavirus in West Bengal: 30-year-old school teacher from Durgapur returns home after a successful COVID-19 vaccine trial

Even as India is conducting the trial for COVID-19 vaccine or Covaxin, Chiranjit Dhibar, the 30-year-old teacher from Durgapur in Paschim Bardhman district who had volunteered for the trial in Bhubaneshwar in July, is back home after a month. Dhibar had gone to the Preventive and Therapeutic Clinical trial Unit under IMS and Sum Hospital in Odisha for the first phase of trial.

Dhibar underwent a whole body screening on the 25th of July and was given the first dose of 0.5ml of the vaccine on July 29. The second injection of 0.5 ml again was administered on August 12 and did not complaint of major side effects.

His blood samples were taken after the two vaccine shots and on August 26 which was his 28th day of trial, he was allowed to go back home. His family is very proud that he was bold enough to take the decision to opt for the trial.

“I don’t have any side effects, I am fine. My father and mother are very proud of me. The Sub Divisional Magistrate, Durgapur (SDM) too is very happy that I went for the trial. I had first applied for the vaccine trial via the SDM. I was appreciated for the efforts.” Said Chiranjit Dhibar.

“If this vaccine trial is successful and when the vaccine is launched in the market, it will be important as we are proud that someone from our area had been selected for the trial.” Said Anirban Koley, SDM, Durgapur.

Dhibar, an RSS worker had applied to ICMR volunteer for the vaccine trial in April before getting a call for the trial process in July by Dr.Venkat Rao, the principal investigator of the trial process. Dr.Rao is a professor in the Community Medicine department of SUM hospital. Dhibar was staying at the premises of SUM hospital where the trial was being conducted.

The vaccine trial volunteer is now under 194 days of observation and will have to take permission before taking any medicine at all. He will be following a normal diet and basic yoga exercises as permitted. If ever Dhibar has any health issues, he has to contact the unit which handled his vaccine trial. Else as per normal protocol, the next step will be for the school teacher to undergo a blood test after 104 days and after that post 194 days.

He will however have to maintain social distancing norms which are followed by people in public places as per government rules. According to protocol, Dhibar has not been told about internal information following the vaccine trial and the findings. The data is all kept confidential from volunteers as well and the findings of the trial on various volunteers have only been told to ICMR.

Dhibar had to sign a bond that he is going for the vaccine trial on his own responsibility. Today the 30 year old school teacher feels proud that he took the risk to serve a larger goal for humanity when India is grappling with 3.39 million COVID-19 cases and 61,529 deaths.

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Free Press Journal