Resident doctors of Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on Saturday said they preferred Serum Institute made Covishield over Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin due to apprehensions over lack of complete trials. The doctors also said they might not participate in huge numbers if Covaxin is used. India approved the vaccine for emergency use on January 3 but the nod has come under criticism for lack of efficacy data.
The Resident Doctors Association said in a letter to the medical superintendent of the facility that Covaxin manufactured by Bharat Biotech is being preferred over Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute in RML hospital. Addressing to the Medical Superintendent they wrote that the residents are a bit apprehensive about the lack of complete trial in the case of Covaxin and might not participate in huge numbers thus defeating the purpose of the vaccination. The association urged the hospital officials to vaccinate them with Covishield which has completed all stages of the trial before its rollout.
Dr Nirmalaya Mohapatra, Vice-President of the hospital’s Resident Doctors Association, said a lot of doctors have not given their names for the countrywide drive launched. He told NDTV that the resident doctors denied to vaccinated with Covaxin writing a letter to the hospital higher authority and preferred to takes Covishield vaccination.
Covishield has been developed by Oxford University and pharma major AstraZeneca and is produced in India by the Serum Institute of India, Pune. Covaxin has been produced by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Referring to the doctor’s demand, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the people should not believe in rumours. A lot of work has gone into making these vaccines. He said there is no question of choosing between the two vaccines.
Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital is a central government institution. In Delhi alone, Covaxin is being used in six central government facilities while 75 hospitals, including state government facilities and private hospitals will be received Covishiled developed by AstraZeneca’s with Serum Institute of India.