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Will thwart Centre's attempt to politicise Covid vaccination programme: Trinamool

Will thwart Centres attempt to politicise Covid vaccination programme: Trinamool
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Kolkata: Doctors' fraternity and a section of health professionals from Bengal feel that any decision of administering vaccines in haste by the Centre may lead to the suffering of the whole medical system if anything goes wrong.

Chandrima Bhattacharya, Minister of State for health said: "We do not want that vaccination programme to be politicised. Prime Minister Modi during his recent virtual meeting with the Chief Minister did not specifically mention the time of launch. We would thwart if there is any attempt to politicise the issue during the election.

Bhattacharya also said that nothing has been finalized as to what doses would be applied and what would be the price of the vaccine. It was stated that around 30 crore people Including 1 crore health workers, 2 crore front line workers and those who are above 50 years of age and having comorbidities would be administered vaccine.

Meanwhile, many of the doctors' organisations in the city are of the view that safety and efficacy of the vaccine must be ensured by proper follow-up as the front line health workers are the ones who would receive the vaccine first.

It takes a long period of 6-7 years to properly develop a vaccine. But the Centre is in little hurry to launch a vaccine by the middle of the next year which could have an adverse impact on the health system. Some doctors in the city apprehend that there may be an attempt by the Narendra Modi government in the Centre to gain some political mileage by launching the vaccine in the poll bound Bengal. Many of the doctors who are fighting the Covid battle from the front are skeptical if they would receive the vaccine. "There has been a competition among the vaccine companies to capture the market first. Business has taken precedence over the well being of people. The companies are trying to promote their product. The Centre is in little hurry. If the vaccine hits the market before a comprehensive report of the final phase comes in, the result could be disastrous. The message is being circulated in a subtle way that the vaccine will be ready for launch anytime next year. How long the effects of a vaccine would last is not clear yet.

The Centre did not allow various groups of scientists who could develop the vaccine at a lower rate with more efficacy," said Dr Swapan Biswas from the Service Doctors' Forum.

When contacted, Dr Nirmal Maji, the President of the Kolkata branch of the Indian Medical Council (IMA), the biggest branch of doctors in the country said: "A section of doctors in the city are skeptical over the attempt of hurried implementation of Covid vaccine for reaping some benefits during the election time. Many are hesitating to receive the vaccine. We will welcome the decision which the Mamata Banerjee government would take in this regard." It may be mentioned here that the Centre had earlier urged the State government to prepare a list of front line health workers at both the government and the private hospitals who would be receiving the vaccine first. The state health department has already prepared a list of 6 lakh health workers.

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