Letters to the Editor — January 20, 2021

Vaccine fine print

The build-up prior to the ‘launch’ of vaccination has fizzled out after the report, “Covaxin not to be used in cases of allergy, fever, poor immunity” (Page 1, January 19). The central government has been keen to give equal status to Covishield and Covaxin, but people are left unimpressed. The caveats in the use of Covaxin have only increased the apprehensions of the general public.

R. Nagarajan,


Notifying important contraindications after the launch of the product does not seem to augur well. Does this apply to the other vaccine, Covishield ? How does a person know that he has ‘poor (compromised) immunity’? It is important to clarify things and avoid confusion among the public which is drifting towards ‘vaccine hesitancy’.

Dr. T. Rama Prasad,

Perundurai, Tamil Nadu

Dr. V. Shanta

Doctors in general are in control of their emotions, but the passing of Dr. V. Shanta, breaks this barrier. If the medical fraternity were to idolise the ideal doctor, it would be her. If Chennai were to idolise a health-care professional, it would be her. If selfless service needs a definition in today’s world, one cannot look anywhere beyond the Cancer Institute, Adayar, Chennai. I still remember the day when this crusading pioneer dwelt on the ‘art of medicine, the actual art behind the science’ to naive medical undergraduates like us. Her words carried weight as she represented grit, elegance, vibrance, and sheer genius .If a term called ‘affordable cancer treatment’ exists, it is synonymous with her name. A lady of such benevolence and brilliance may be no more, but her eternal being will always exist.

Dr. Raveendranath P.,


As the doyen of cancer care in India, her simplicity, motherly care and personal attention will be sorely missed as she infused confidence and courage in patients. The Cancer Institute provided affordable and quality treatment on account of her. Her name will be etched in letters of gold in the history of medicine in general and oncology in particular.

S.V. Venkatakrishnan,


When I took my late father, in 1976 for admission to her institute, she met us with a smile and said, “You are welcome here for free treatment, but you can also pay whatever little you can afford if you wish. Regardless of all that, me and my team will give you our best.” Many good physicians are experts in their streams of speciality, but Dr. V. Shanta was an exceptional humanist.

Sivamani Vasudevan,


At a time when cancer was considered a killer disease, she only made the world realise that cancer is not only curable but preventable too.

We never recognise such dedicated souls during their lifetime but attempt to honour them posthumously. On the contrary, we hasten to confer the Bharat Ratna on those with political links. Why forget deserving and service-oriented icons?

Tharcius S. Fernando,


At a time when profitability has emerged as a sole driving force for private hospitals, Dr. Shanta and her institute remained an exception. For her, medicine was a god-sent opportunity to provide medical treatment with care and compassion. She will be always be remembered to be an exemplary humanist doctor.

M. Jeyaram,

Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu

Even after she stopped performing surgeries she remained available for consultation round the clock. She mentored hundreds of cancer surgeons and her role in demystifying cancer and in inculcating hope in patients was remarkable.

C.V. Aravind,


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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 12:39:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-january-20-2021/article33612404.ece

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