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'Will prefer Covishield over Covaxin': Resident doctors at RML hospital

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New Delhi, Jan 16: On a day India began world's biggest vaccination drive against the coronavirus pandemic, resident doctors at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital raised concern over administration of Bharat Biotech vaccine Covaxin and said they would prefer the Covishield vaccine of Serum Institute of India.

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"We would like to bring to your notice that the residents are a bit apprehensive about the lack of complete trial Covaxin and might not participate in huge numbers thus defeating the purpose of vaccination," said the doctors of RML Hospital.

"We request you to vaccinate us with Covishield which has completed all stages of the trial before its roll out," they added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched India's vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus. A record 3 lakh healthcare workers across the country are scheduled to get vaccinated on the first day across 3,006 vaccination sites.

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The vaccination programme will use Co-WIN, an online digital platform developed by Union Health Ministry, which will facilitate real-time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine.

Covishield

Covishield vaccine has been developed by the University of Oxford and British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer, Serum Institute of India (SII) -- which is British-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca's manufacturing partner - said that the vaccine would be 90 to 95 per cent effective if the two shots are parted by around 2-3 months.

The overall efficacy of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine was found to be 70.42 per cent - well below vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, but above the 50 per cent threshold set by many regulators.

Covaxin

Covaxin has been developed by Indian biotechnology company Bharat Biotech and clinical research body Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

It is being said, Covaxin an inactivated vaccine which follows one of the oldest methods for vaccinating people.

The vaccine is yet to complete late-stage human clinical trials in India and no efficacy rate has yet been made public.

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