Hyderabad: The Central government has selected Telangana state and Rajasthan for the dry run of Covid-19 vaccine once it was approved to be safe by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). In the process, the two states will also conduct trials of Covid-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network. The online training for the staff will start on December 3.
Healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, hospital administration staff and others, are in the first list for the administration of Covid-19 vaccine.
District medical and health officials in the health department are collating data for the vaccination regime and have asked nursing homes, private and government hospitals to give them the details of their staff.
The dry run of cold chain set-up is being carried out at the primary healthcare centre at Abids. The cold chain has to maintain the two-dose vaccination regime of Day 0 and Day 28.
The Central team will also look at data and logistical support to ensure effective implementation.
Doctors in both private and government hospitals, however, are wary of being part of the dry run of vaccination and have refused to participate in the vaccination regime.
A senior doctor on condition of anonymity says, “All healthcare workers to be immunised on a top priority! Is this a way to get volunteers for mass immunisation programmes even before the third and fourth stages of clinical trials are not over?”
Doctors claim that their opinion was not taken on whether they want to be vaccinated during the dry run. Many of the doctors opined that they will not respond to the call for vaccination. Several others, however, feel a vaccine approved by DCGI will be safe and believe that the government will approve the vaccine that is 80 per cent efficient.
Another group of doctors stated that they have been taking prophylaxis (treatment taken to prevent disease) and have treated hundreds of Covid-19 patients. So, why must they take vaccines now, they question.
Vice-president of TS Indian Medical Association Dr Sanjiv Singh Yadav, said, “The efficacy of the vaccine is the most important criteria and there are past experiences which show that it takes years to determine efficacy in different population groups.”
Experts state that there has to be consensus among the medical community before chalking out the programme of administering vaccines to them.