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Beneficiaries Reluctant to Sign Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin Consent Form, Strike Rate Falls Below 50%

A medic administers the first dose of Covishield vaccine to a frontline worker in the presence of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, after the virtual launch of COVID-19 vaccination drive by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at AIIMS in New Delhi, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (PTI Photo)

A medic administers the first dose of Covishield vaccine to a frontline worker in the presence of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, after the virtual launch of COVID-19 vaccination drive by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at AIIMS in New Delhi, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Reportedly, on Day 1, only 99 Covaxin doses were administered in Tamil Nadu out of the planned 600 for the first day. The following day, it had administered 90 more doses till 2.00 pm.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin beneficiaries are reluctant to sign the consent form, all three states- Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Telangana that administered the vaccines on January 16 have said. This has resulted in a less than 50 percent strike rate in states on the first day of the world’s largest coronavirus inoculation drive.

The issue was raised by the states in the coordination meeting chaired by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan later on January 16, an Economic Times report stated.

Reportedly, on Day 1, only 99 Covaxin doses were administered in Tamil Nadu out of the planned 600 for the first day. The following day, it had administered 90 more doses till 2.00 pm. All 11 states, which agreed to administer Covaxin doses, have dedicated six vaccination centres as part of the drive and all of these centres are restricted to government hospitals.

Meanwhile, in Rajasthan 314 Covaxin doses were administered out of the planned 600. Even though no adverse event was reported from the vaccine in the state, reportedly, beneficiaries were still hesitant to take it. Rajasthan’s National Health Mission director Naresh Thakral told ET that translating the consent form to Hindi may have helped.

This comes after several politicians and experts have raised questions on the efficacy of Covaxin as it is still under phase-3 clinical trials.

Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), was granted restricted emergency use approval under the clinical trial mode. This means that people who receive the doses will have to sign a three-page informed consent form, and will also be monitored for any serious side effects.

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