Letters to the Editor — January 4, 2021

Prepping for the jab

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has accorded approval for specific vaccines though the crucial phase-3 trial is still in progress in India. Does the fact that a similar vaccine has been approved in the U.K. seem to have weighed heavily on the Subject Expert Committee of the DCGI?

The decision to administer the second dose anytime between four and 12 weeks after the first dose may prove to be counterproductive in the absence of any “clarity on how long the protective effect of a single first dose lasts”. It may be more prudent to adhere to the original plan of administering the second dose, as there is the danger of the entire exercise going to waste. It would be better to administer two doses with a four week interval to a smaller number of people and be sure about the protection. The point to be noted is that the U.K.’s decision to increase the interval between two doses of vaccine has been severely criticised by the British Medical Association. The reason is said to be the current and rapid surge of new cases. But how far this measure will help the U.K. in containment is anybody’s guess.

Kosaraju Chandramouli,


Transparency is vital for people to have trust in the vaccines. It is nobody’s case that we should not embark on a mass COVID-19 vaccination programme at the earliest in this pandemic time to cut down on cases and casualties. Even so, it is of paramount importance that all internationally stipulated protocol for vaccine development and approval are followed before such a launch. The government and the DCGI are certainly well-intentioned, but the question is whether we can take our chances and start the vaccination programme. Impatience is not necessarily a virtue in pandemic time.

It is unwise and pointless to mix national pride with life-saving vaccines and we must not do anything to the liking of anti-vaxxers.

The nod for Covaxin is premature. Till more robust data is available, the indigenous Bharat Biotech vaccine must be held in abeyance and can be considered for use as back-up when phase-3 trial results permit it.

G. David Milton,

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

The new year has brought with it hope in the form of the imminent launch of vaccines in India. While the ‘dry runs’ and logistics are being worked out, there is no dearth of rumours doing the rounds, especially on social media, to discredit the vaccination programme, making it difficult for the layperson to know what lies ahead. Doctors in charge of community health in Kerala assure people that though the vaccines do not claim to be 100% effective, they are the best bet under the circumstances to acquire immunity for at least a minimum of six months. They have also recommended continuing with all precautions even after vaccination, to be safer. This message needs to get across.

Elizabeth Koshy,

Maramon, Pathanamthitta, Kerala

Protocol ‘breach’

The men in blue run the risk of fielding a depleted team or playing no cricket in Sydney if Cricket Australia and the BCCI fail to resolve the bio-bubble ‘breach’ issue amicably. It was only recently that the England-South Africa series had to be abandoned in the middle for bio-bubble violations. Australia is unlikely to budge an inch to accommodate Indian concerns for the simple reason that they were at the receiving end on disciplinary grounds following the ball tampering row. The onus is on the Indian team management to accept the verdict gracefully if not in its favour.

A.V. Narayanan,

Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 12:52:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-january-4-2021/article33488185.ece

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