No choice between vaccines will be given to priority group: Head of epidemiology, ICMR

Samiran Panda, head of epidemiology and communicable diseases division, ICMR has also assured that the vaccines being administered in India will be effective against the UK variant of the coronavirus

As India is all set to roll out its nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, Samiran Panda, head of epidemiology and communicable diseases division, ICMR has said that no choice will be given to the priority groups to chose between both the vaccines. They will only have an option to ‘opt in or opt out’.

Panda has also assured that the vaccines being administered in India will be effective against the UK variant of the coronavirus, which has spread newfound havoc all across the world. He added that the experiments done in the UK on the virus have come into notice and its transmission capability is high, but there is no scientific evidence yet to say that Indian vaccines will fail against it.

Also Read: COVID-19 vaccination in Delhi | Over 8,000 health workers to be vaccinated every day; all you need to know

A lot of concerns have been raised against India’s homegrown vaccine, Bharath Biotech’s COVAXIN. Trying to put an end to all those concerns, Panda on 14 January said, “The vaccine that India has developed (Covaxin) presents to the immune system a wide array of antigens, so the immunity which will be produced after vaccination is expected to address the mutants as well,” quoted by news agency ANI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be kickstarting the vaccination drive on January 16 at 10:30 PM via video conferencing. A total of 11 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine produced at Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune, have been delivered across the country and Bharat Biotech has also shipped its vaccine Covaxin to several cities.

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