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Vaccination to start by year end or early Jan

There is good data available that vaccines are very safe, says Delhi AIIMS Director

Director of AIIMS, Delhi, Dr Randeep Guleria on Thursday said he was hopeful that an emergency regulatory nod will be given to coronavirus vaccine by the end of this month or early next month to start vaccinating people.

Amid reports of allegations of an adverse event case against Covishield vaccine, he said that safety and efficacy of vaccine are not compromised at all. “Around 70,000-80,000 volunteers have received the vaccine and no significant serious adverse effects were seen. The data shows that in the short term, vaccine is safe,” he said.

“There is good data available that the vaccines are very safe. We should get emergency use authorisation from Indian regulatory authorities to start giving vaccine to public,” Dr Guleria said to a news agency here. Dr Guleria is also a member of the national task force on Covid-19 management.

He added, “Chennai trial case is an incidental finding rather than related to vaccine. When we vaccinate a large number of people, some of them may have some other disease, which may not be related to vaccine.”

Elderly, people with comorbidities and front-line workers should be vaccinated first, said Dr Guleria.

On vaccine distribution, he said, “Work is going on at war-footing both at the Centre and the State level for vaccine distribution plan in terms of maintaining cold chain, having appropriate storehouses available, developing strategy, training vaccinators and availability of syringes.”

On Covid-19 pandemic’s new wave in India, he said, “Now, we’ve seen a decline in current wave and I hope this will continue if we are able to have a good Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. We’re close to having a big change related to a pandemic if we manage this behaviour for the next three months.”

Guleria also said that in the beginning, Covid-19 vaccine will not be available in sufficient doses to give to everyone. “We need a priority list to see that we vaccinate those who’ve high chances of dying due to Covid. Elderly, people with comorbidities and front line workers should be vaccinated first,” he added. Recently, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had ruled out vaccinating entire population stating that a few vulnerable people will be identified who will be inoculated.

The AIIMS Director also said that once the booster dose is given, vaccine will give good amount of anti-body production and will start giving protection. “This will last for many months giving protection for a significant time when numbers will be less. We need to see type of immunity vaccine gives,” he added.

Friday, 04 December 2020 | PNS | New Delhi

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