School teacher from West Bengal volunteering for Covid-19 vaccine trial doing fine after Phase 1

Kolkata

It was an Independence Day with a difference for a 30-year-old primary school teacher from Durgapur in Paschim Bardhman district of West Bengal. Chiranjit Dhibar had volunteered for the Covaxin, the clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine in India conducted by ICMR and a pharma company and the school teacher seems to be doing reasonably well after the first few injection shots. The first dosage was of 0.5 ml of the vaccine on July 29 and the second dose of 0.5 ml on August 12. This is part of the first phase of trial.

He did complain of fever, headache and slight pain after the second dosage, and these are normal, but overall is feeling fine. Dhibar is at the SUM hospital in Bhubaneswar and is staying on the premises itself.

A full-body screening was done on Dhibar on July 25 and he was declared fit to take part in the trial. Dhibar, an RSS worker, had reached out to the ICMR for a trial in April and in the first week of July, he finally got a call to participate in the vaccine trial.

Dr Venkat Rao, the principal investigator of the trial process, had given Dhibar a call to be part of the vaccine. Dr Rao is a professor in the Community Medicine department of SUM hospital. According to Dr Rao, a lot of people had shown enthusiasm to be part of the trial.

The school teacher is under observation and only after the 28th day, on August 26, will he be allowed to go home. This is after taking his blood samples to check whether he has developed antibodies. On the 104th and 194th day, Dhibar has to go for a checkup again.

For now, there are periodic checkups and blood samples taken to monitor health parameters of Dhibar. The school teacher on his part, is hopeful he will succeed in his endeavour and come back to Durgapur to make his family and school proud.

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