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‘Hesitant first, but I’m glad I took the vaccine’

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Dr Vishal Rao, Associate Dean, Academics, HCG, and member of the state Covid task force, writes on Facebook about his ‘conversion’ from sceptic to vaccine enthusiast. He also provides a video link to experts’ discussion on vaccine-related issues.

BENGALURU:

All this while, I was hesitant to take the vaccine shot as I was looking for credible data vouching for its safety. I took the vaccine yesterday. Healthcare workers have expressed hesitancy, and rightfully owing to various reasons — emergency authorisation, adverse effects, data, efficacy and many others.

Dr Vishal Rao

Here is some interesting data based on a recent paper published in ‘The Lancet’ this January 2021, which talks of unflinching evidence, beyond sloganeering and selfie-based endorsements.

When we were in the thick of the Covid pandemic, there was a massive hunt for vaccines. Now that the vaccines have arrived, there is a hunt for evidence for its safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

This is a recent paper published in ‘The Lancet’ by Voysey et al from the Oxford Group which is a worthwhile read on a pooled interim analysis of 4 Randomised clinical trials across the UK, Brazil and South Africa. By virtue of numerous peer-to-peer scientific conversations with fraternity expert members and support from HCG Academics,

HCG Oncology, RGUHS, Elsevier India and ‘The Lancet’, I’m glad I vaccinated myself.

The key messages that emerge through recent evidenced-based literature shared above are:

‘Vaccinate before 2nd wave’

1) The only way to deal with Covid is to either get infected or vaccinated. After reading details of the paper published in this globally acclaimed reputed journals and vaccine committee members, it’s obvious that vaccines are largely safe.

2) We are at the trough of the first wave and hoping we don’t trigger the second wave. Many countries have begun the crest of the second wave or are in the thick of it. We have a window period to stop this. It is worthwhile we take this chance and prefer the vaccine.

3) The vaccines may not reduce infection but have significantly impacted the severity of the disease. That’s why you would still need to wear a mask after vaccination. Moreover, the endpoint in most of these trials was symptomatic disease and NOT infection.

Brain-storming by experts

Recently, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences called for a scientific discussion with WHO experts, DBT (GoI) and NIMHANS Virologist, Vice-chancellor, Chairman of the Covid task force committee-GoK and me participating in this discussion on issues and concerns over the vaccine, a sincere attempt to highlight the issues and concerns surrounding the Covid vaccination in a prudent, purposeful, and apolitical manner. They all had got the vaccine, but I hadn’t at that juncture. I spoke on the adverse events of the vaccine.

For a scientific enthusiast, this link would address some of the looming questions that merit logical answers — https://youtu.be/s8oVTMzHDow

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