Health and Family Welfare Minister of Chhattisgarh T S Singhdeo has shot a letter to Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan urging him not to send COVAXIN vaccination doses citing reasons the vaccines will not be usable generally being under emergency clinical trial.
The Health Minister wrote to his counterpart at Centre that COVID-19 vaccination drive is going on in all the districts across Chhattisgarh from January 16, 2021 wherein Health Care Workers are getting vaccinated. Vaccination drive for Front-Line Workers has also commenced. The efforts put in by Chhattisgarh has resulted in more than 1,67,852 Health Care Workers being vaccinated with 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine till date, which is more than 61% of our target.
Singhdeo said efforts are being further augmented to cover the remaining registered beneficiaries at the earliest through planning vaccination sessions with COVISHIELD vaccine, with optimal coverage and regular review of the progress.
The Health Minister said in the letter that the state has received COVAXIN vaccine doses numbering 37,760 and further 1,49,120 are scheduled in the month of March. He said that he had already shared concerns among the community in general regarding the use of COVAXIN while further adding that the state will be happy to vaccinate beneficiaries with COVAXIN doses, once the results of clinical trials of Phase-3 is completed and shared.
He said the state has been supplied the COVISHIELD vaccine, numbering 5,88,000 doses, using which the immunization drive has been initiated. Regarding the COVAXIN vaccine, there is concern, which arises from the fact that clinical trials of Phase-3 are yet to be completed and which brings forth a sense of hesitation regarding its use. Further, the vial of COVAXIN doses doesn’t display expiry date.
Under such conditions, the Health Minister urged the Union Health Minister to reconsider the decision to further supply COVAXIN to Chhattisgarh, so that the early expiry vaccine doses are not wasted. The supply of COVAXIN vaccine can be started for Chhattisgarh after the completion of clinical trial Phase-3 and results are made available.