India Coronavirus Dispatch: Some health workers hesitant to get first jabs

4 days ago

SII's global commitments, Delhi's healthy and young health workers first in line, a little-known logistics firm that is having a moment-news relevant to India's fight against Covid-19

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Some doctors, health workers have doubts about Covid vaccines

Healthcare workers are first in line to get the vaccine within the priority groups numbering 300 million people. But, some doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers are worried about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, according to a report in ThePrint.

Some doctors also wish there was better clarity around the vaccines and also about the sign-up process. Public health experts are hopeful that as vaccinations are underway, it will assuage the concerns of those that are apprehensive. The group of doctors ThePrint spoke to weren't anti-vaccine but were hesitant due to hasty approvals and a lack of efficacy data. Covishield, manufactured by Bharat Biotech, is yet to complete Phase 3 trials. The government has said people will not have a choice between the two vaccines, at least for now. It is also not clear which vaccine will be supplied first, or if both will be supplied together. Read more here

Healthy and young healthcare workers to get the first shots in Delhi

To manage adverse reactions, younger healthcare workers without comorbidities will be the first to get the vaccine shots on Saturday in Delhi, according to a report in the Hindustan Times.

People between the ages of 20 and 49 years without comorbidities will be picked out from a list of 100 beneficiaries for all of the 89 centres in Delhi that will begin vaccinating. This practice will be carried out for the first few days of the drive, the report said. Read more here

Serum Institute's global commitments

The spotlight is now on Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine maker by volume, to meet the high demand for vaccines from other countries while ensuring local demand is met. A report from BBC provides a glimpse into SII's global commitments.

SII is a part of a WHO-backed international effort called Covax which aims to provide vaccine access to low and middle-income countries. The SII has agreed to supply 200 million shots to that scheme this year—either the AstraZeneca vaccine or a US-developed one called Novavax. SII chief Adar Poonawalla told the BBC the Covax deal could be expanded by another 900 million shots, bringing the total commitment to the scheme to over a billion doses. SII has also struck deals with several countries for the AstraZeneca vaccine, including Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, and Morocco. The quantities and timelines are not clear. SII is aiming to ramp up production to 100 million doses a month from March this year, the firm told The BBC. Read more here

Kool-ex: a little-known logistics company that is having a moment

As India began transporting the vaccines to states to prepare for the vaccination drive to begin on Saturday, a little-known logistics company called Kool-ex became the first transporter to ferry the vaccines from Serum Institute of India's manufacturing facility to the city's airport, a report in Forbes said.

The trucks are equipped with GPS and are monitored real-time by the firm. Everything from the temperature inside the trucks to the opening of the doors can be tracked by the firm remotely, the report said. The firm was tight-lipped about the final destinations of the trucks that number around 400. The firm said the manufacturer has to send the vaccines to government depots. The government will then handle the movement of secondary and last-mile sections. Read more here

TN government doctors' association sought independent expert opinion on safety of vaccines

The Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association (TNGDA) has expressed concerns around the safety of Covid-19 vaccines that the central government has approved, according to a report in The Frontline. The association has sought opinion from three independent top experts on the safety, efficacy, and choice of vaccines offered. An advisory will be issued for the association's members after a meeting to be held today, the report said. Read more here

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