Hype, hope as vaccine trials begin at NIMS Hyderabad, AIIMS Delhi

By Sumit Jha  Published on  29 July 2020 6:13 AM GMT
Hype, hope as vaccine trials begin at NIMS Hyderabad, AIIMS Delhi

Hyderabad: Many people are celebrating the journey of the vaccine after photographs of the trial dose being administered to the patients at NIMS Hyderabad and AIIMS Delhi went viral on social media.

Before the COVID pandemic, understanding or knowledge of vaccines was only related to scientific achievements. In this pandemic, the need for a vaccine has created a hype among the general public.

“It’s not just about the achievement of administrating some dose inside the human body. We have to look at a different aspect of these photographs. What’s the motive of photographs,” said Anant Bhan, Researcher, Global Health Loans, Bioethics, and Health Policy.

Some see it as a moment to document a historic event. “It is just ceremonial. We click photographs for these events. How these photographs will be used, it’s not up to scientists,” said Rakesh Mishra, Director, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).

Historically, vaccines for ebola, mumps, polio, and other viral diseases have taken a minimum of four years to finish trials.

COVAXIN NIMS trial

First, the ICMR announcement of the use of the vaccine by August 15 came as a surprise. The need for vaccine also increased as the COVID cases witnessed a huge spike.

During the trial, the identities of people are not revealed. “There is a stigma attached to these photographs. Society will not accept these people,” said Anant Bhan.

Some researchers see the photographs as a publicity stunt. “Vaccine company will try to show its presence. Researchers have put in everything to develop the vaccine. The trial success rate is very low,” said Anant Bhan.

The researchers agree that the trial phase should be a low key affair. “Our feet should firmly remain on the ground. It should not be based on climbing the mountain and celebrating it. This is a scientific part,” said Anant.

“There should be accountability, not publicity, this is a scientific achievement, not the race,” said Dr. Rakesh Mishra.

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