Open house: What are your apprehensions about covid vaccination programme?
Public scrutiny is a must
The approval for the emergency use of the Covaxin to Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had cleared the last hurdle before the start of the vaccination drive in India. The government appointed Subject Expert Committee was convinced that Covaxin's inactivated virus may be more effective against mutations. Lack of transparency surrounding trials data, fast-tracking of data scrutiny and doubts over vaccine dosage and mutations have raised concerns. But India is no exception here. Each country is adopting different approaches. Globally, many view approving of vaccines to combat the Covid pandemic as inordinate haste. The DCGI must make a clean analysis of the submitted data and continue to share reviews of the Phase 3 trials. Vaccine will test government's skill for answering inconvenient questions. It mustn't avoid public scrutiny.
Sanjay Chopra, Mohali
Haste can do more damage
The Covid-19 vaccine is being politically misused to lure voters by offering its free dose. Administering vaccine in haste can do more damage than virus. A pilot programme to administer vaccine can be launched in the first stage. Select 100 men and women, including old and young in each town for the programme. Give first and second dose to them and keep a strict vigil to find side effects of the vaccine on different categories. After ascertaining safety of the vaccine mass vaccination drive can be initiated.
Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Mohali
It took more than a month for the authorities concerned to know the actual reason behind the unusual deaths of birds in farms near Panchkula. Do you think the Panchkula authorities failed to show urgency and obscured the truth in tackling the bird flu in Barwala and Raipur Rani poultry farms, where birds started dying in the first week of December?
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An achievement of pharmaceutical firms
Two indigenous vaccines Covaxin and Covishield have been granted approval by the DCGI, which is a landmark achievement of the pharmaceutical firms/sector. This is an optimistic step towards annihilation of the corona pandemic. Vaccination of a huge population is a challenging task. It becomes more difficult as two doses have to be administered after an interval of fortnight. Keeping record and ensuring timely completion of vaccination course is problem. Next is minor side effects. People particularly those suffering from comorbidites, who get inoculated, have to keep in touch with doctors. Major issue is proper storage of vaccine in optimum temperature. There are also apprehensions that unscrupulous elements may take advantage and indulge in black marketing and duplication of drugs.
Vaccines have been approved in a hurry
Our government has placed bulk orders for the vaccine from a few manufacturers. These manufacturers became protective and assured the government for expeditious supplies. Since the approval process of Covishield is still not clear mass vaccination may not be in the interest of vulnerable. Hasty approval has been given to vaccine. Health of each and every individual should be monitored after giving vaccine. Till desirable results are obtained mass vaccination drive should be postponed. No one should be coerced to get vaccinated.
SC Luthra, Chandigarh
Give priority to docs, health workers
It is heartening to know that a vaccine for such a dreaded disease like Covid-19 has been made in such a short span of time and that too indigenously. Dry runs of vaccine at several places have shown remarkable results. People, who are vulnerable, including doctors and other health workers, should be given vaccine doses on priority. The Central Government should distribute vaccines in good quantity among all states irrespective of the ruling dispensation at the helm
NPS Sohal, Chandigarh
Vaccine accessibility is a major issue
For the Covid-19 vaccination programme apprehensions are rife about vaccine distribution in masses. The accessibility of vaccines to the people is a major concern. Spreading awareness regarding vaccination centres and maintenance of ultracold chain for storing vaccine at the right temperature is the need of the hour. Chances of developing allergies post vaccination make the situation ambiguous.
Shobhna Kalra, Panchkula
Hue and cry over vaccine clearance
By the grace of God, finally we have got the vaccine for the deadly Covid-19 virus. But there are many apprehensions regarding the vaccination. The first and the foremost worry is whether vaccine has been given a go ahead by the authorities concerned or not as opposition parties are making a lot of hue and cry about its authenticity. The next cause of worry is its administration. It seems to be a Herculean task to vaccinate a big population and that also with fair dealing. Above all whether vaccine would reach the poor and the needy or not is yet to be ascertained? There must not be any corruption in the vaccination programme as it might lead to failure of the administration of the vaccine. People will be under more stress thereby aggravating the pandemic and the situation if the programme fails.
Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Chandigarh
Fear about effects after vaccination
Covid -19 vaccine has been rolled out and its dry run has started everywhere in the country. People fear taking vaccine as they are not aware about its efficacy. They have apprehensions about post administration effects of the vaccine. People want to know whether they will live normal life or have complications after getting vaccinated.
Avinash Goyal, Chandigarh
Shun fear, have faith in government
As Covid-19 vaccine is rolled out, the fear of its effectiveness and side effects persists in the mind. In how many stages inoculation is complete and the number of times one has to visit health centres is yet to disclosed by the authorities concerned? After getting vaccinated what about recurrence of the disease? For how long will the vaccine provide immunity? Such questions invade mind. But to protect ourselves from the pandemic, we have to eradicate this fear and have faith in the government to make this vaccination programme a success.
Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali
Vaccine should be compulsory for all
There should be no apprehensions in minds of the public regarding the vaccination programme. Vaccine should be compulsory as per the guidelines of the government. Further, even after vaccination one should not take it lightly, must follow the Covid-19 protocol and enhance immunity by taking nutritious food, do yoga and meditation. Also maintain social distancing, sanitise hands and wear mask in crowded places. Ensure positivity and happiness in day-to-day life.
Col TBS Bedi (retd), Mohali
Make a plan for vaccination drive
Dry run for the Covid-19 is on at several places. Apprehensions about the programme include the roster for vaccination, priority list of the people to be vaccinated first and the place and timings for administering it. Another concern is about the vaccine, which one is better out of the two cleared by the DCGI. The third is the cost of vaccine. There is a need to have a clear plan about vaccination so that people are ready to get vaccinated without any fear or ambiguity.
Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Minhas (retd), Mohali
Vaccine safest tool to combat coronavirus
Mostly people are willing to take vaccine and are actually waiting for it because they have largely ignored advice given by doctors. So, coronavirus vaccine remains the safest and powerful tool to combat the virus. Moreover, arrival of the vaccination is good news for the world. It is quite safe and effective. The most vulnerable category should be administrated vaccine in the first leg of the vaccination programme. Covid-19 vaccine does not belong to any political party. Above all, vaccination related news must come to us via official and trusted sources like newspapers or TV channels.
Anita Tandon, Kharar
Disinformation scaring people
As Covid-19 vaccine programme has been initiated in various parts of the world, India seems to be dealing with a new problem, which is fraud messages. People are scared due to these messages. With the first vaccine getting a go ahead for emergency use, the cyber safety wing of the Union Home Ministry has issued a warning against fraudulent offers on the vaccine. Any link, email, message or phone call offering Covid-19 vaccine on priority is fraud. Due to apprehensions associated with the Covid-19 programme, cyber criminals are playing various tricks. They may offer to pay and register for getting vaccine first through links, mails, messages or phone calls.
Akshar Kumar Singla, Chandigarh
Suspicion over vaccine is usual
Covid-19 vaccines will be rolled out soon. Suspicion and apprehension about vaccination is fairly common among people. The government has released a communication strategy to support the Covid-19 vaccine roll out in India that seeks to disseminate accurate and transparent information by alleviating fears and ensuring its acceptance. Certain religions and beliefs promote alternative perspectives towards vaccination. Religious objections to vaccines are based generally on belief that body is sacred, should not receive certain chemicals or blood or tissue from animals and should be healed by God or natural means.
Adish Sood, Amloh
Lot of politics over vaccine approval
The vaccine is being rolled out too early as it is still under trials. Even experts say the government is rolling out vaccine early. Data of vaccine trials is still not out for the public review. There is lot of politics over vaccine, but the government and the opposition should understand that it is crucial in the fight against Covid-19. Therefore, vaccine should have proper evaluation to ensure that it is 100 per cent safe for use and has almost no side-effects.
Priyam Aggarwal, Chandigarh
Economy will be back on track
Launch of the much awaited vaccine drive will bring happiness across the country. The vaccine will save lives and bring the economy back on the track. But the execution of the vaccination programme will certainly be a challenging task. Currently, there is confusion and doubt over availability of the vaccine for all, its safety, cost and results. Because of these apprehensions some even reluctant to take vaccine. It is said that every vaccine has their own peculiar problem. But regulators and experts have said it is 100 per cent safe. The authorities should dispel also such doubts. The impact of Covid-9 will be felt for some years. So, everybody should get vaccinated.
Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula
Let faith be stronger than fear
Covid-19 vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin - have received approval from the government. World's largest Covid vaccination programme is all set to begin in India. There may be some criticism/fear about approval of the vaccine and its side effects. But, we should trust the government, which has a large responsibility and let faith be stronger than fear.
Ramesh Kumar Arora, Chandigarh
Must wait and watch patiently
As the Covid-19 vaccination programme is under way, the vaccine is still in its infancy. Apprehensions regarding the same are many. The race to develop it led to its short testing period, wherein testing phases were overlapped. Also its effectiveness in the wake of the mink-mutated new variant Covid strain is questionable. It's undesirable side effects owing to some disturbing news from other countries also adds to the worry. It is being ascertained that the vaccine only reduces the risk of the virus and boosts immunity up to a year when administered twice after a lapse of a few months, but doesn't make you completely safe from the disease. Scientists still don't have answers to all questions regarding the new virus. So, rather than heeding to anti-vaccine rumours, we must patiently wait and watch.
Simran Sidhu, Chandigarh
Trials must be completed first
It is a matter of great satisfaction and pride that the indigenous Covid-19 vaccine will be rolled out in a few days. But, why can't we wait for ensuring its efficacy? It is true that we are desperately waiting for vaccine, but trials must be completed before it's rolled out. All believe our scientists and doctors, but the norms should be followed strictly while preparing vaccine as it involves human lives and national pride.
Bharat Bhushan Sharma, Chandigarh
Give vaccine to poor, needy free of cost
The Central Government has already approved Covishield and Covaxin for restricted emergency use before launching a mass inoculation drive. Countrywide dry run of the approved vaccines has been done. Looking at the gravity of the situation owing to Covid-19 the government should bear the cost of providing vaccines and supply them to states for free distribution among those, who will not be able to its cost. Though the danger of Covid-19 is not over, the government has already stopped the supply of masks, ventilators and RT-PCR kits. Their cost is now being borne by the state governments for which poor have to bear the brunt.
SK Khosla, Chandigarh
Government should give assurance
The Central Government has decided to start the Covid-19 vaccination programme from January 16 onwards. Initially, around three crore healthcare and frontline workers dealing with the pandemic will be covered under this drive. As per the data available in the public domain over 79 lakh beneficiaries have already registered on Co-WIN, a digital platform that will provide real-time information on the inoculation drive. Despite all assurances being given by the manufacturing companies and the government, the common man still has many apprehensions about efficacy of the vaccine due to transparent trial-run data available. We are not sure whether the vaccine will really take care of the most vulnerable sections of society, such as elderly and those with comorbidities. Another cause of worry is the quantum of side effects of the vaccine as every person’s body reacts uniquely to any foreign chemical when administered. The government has to come out with assurances on the safety and efficacy of these new vaccines. The population cannot be used as guinea pigs.
Anil Kumar Yadav, Chandigarh
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