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State starts distribution of Covaxin in vaccination centres

State starts distribution of Covaxin in vaccination centres
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Kolkata: State Health department has started distributing Covaxin among various medical colleges and other vaccination sites. The Covaxin will only be administered on those who will give a written consent to the state government, sources in the Health department said.

"The healthcare workers and others who would receive Bharat Biotech's Covaxin during the immunization drive would be required to sign an informed consent form. It is not however mandatory for those who are being administered Covishield," a health official said.

It was learnt that phase III clinical trial of Covaxin is underway and hence signing bond has become mandatory. The Health department has also sought opinion from the vaccine experts regarding the application of the Covaxin. The department awaits the guidelines from the Centre in this regard. The health experts have told the officials of the Swasthya Bhawan that people having symptoms of ailments should not be vaccinated. The experts have also pointed out that there is no worry in case of both Covaxin and Covishield. Unlike Covishield that has 10 doses in a vial, a Covaxin contains 20 doses in a vial.

The State Health department had paused the distribution of Covaxin for some time after a consignment of Covaxin arrived in the state in the latter half of the last month. More than 1.12 lakh doses of Covaxin arrived on December 23. As per sources, around 23,000 doses are being distributed in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation areas while around 90,000 doses are meant for the rest of Bengal.

It was found that three out of ten persons receiving vaccines have only complained about some side effects which is common in case of any vaccination. Covishield developed by Serum Institute has already been applied on a large number of people ever since the drive was started across the nation but no major incidents of side effects have been reported so far. The state government has been going slow in case of Covaxin as it is still undergoing phase III clinical trials. Though, the experts have suggested that Covaxin is also found to be safe. The Health department may also conduct an awareness campaign in the districts as some of the health workers are still skeptical about the Covaxin.

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