Dr GR Ravindranath, secretary, Doctor’s Association for Social Equality, said the lack of transparency in vaccine trials and its results have raised concerns among the public.
“If the data on vaccine trials is put in public domain, people will trust the process. The mistrust on vaccines is a result of chaos over approvals and difference of opinion among experts about it. Moreover, if we want the public to trust the vaccines and encourage it, our senior leaders including Prime Minister, Home Minister, Union and State Health Ministers and others should get vaccinated first,” he said.
Though healthcare workers are awaiting instructions on the registration for vaccination, they too have doubts about its safety and efficacy. S Saraswathy, secretary, Tamil Nadu Nurses Association, said they were unsure of the safety of the vaccine and would personally choose not to get vaccinated. “There were many uncertainties, including testing, treatment, medications and now vaccination. Based on our interactions with patients and doctors, I have seen that there is no certainty about the vaccine’s effect against COVID-19,” she said.
Meanwhile, senior citizens, who are also on the priority list and are expected to be vaccinated after frontline workers, fear long-term complications.
“I don’t mind dying as I am 72-year-old. But I don’t want to return home with further complications and be a burden to my family at this old age. To earn the public trust, the President, Vice President, Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers and Governors should volunteer to be vaccinated,” says V Chandrasekhar, president, Senior Citizens Group, Besant Nagar.
20% of city pvt hosps say no to vaccines
More than 20 per cent of the private hospitals and clinics functioning in the city are not willing to take the vaccines, which would be provided by the government, according to Corporation officials.
Sanitary inspectors of the Corporation have been contacting all private hospitals in the city to collect details of employees and to obtain their consent for the vaccination drive.
While the 1,709 hospitals gave details of the employees, as many as 763 private hospitals expressed unwillingness for the vaccine, which is around 20 per cent of the total. As on Sunday, the civic body contacted more than 4,000 private hospitals and clinics. As per the civic body data, there are 6,951 private hospitals and clinics in the city. Of the 6,951 private hospitals, around 750 are major hospitals.
“The process will be completed on Tuesday and we can get the exact number of hospitals and employees to be vaccinated by Tuesday evening. We cannot compel them,” an official said. The civic body has estimated to vaccinate around 60,000 health care workers and around 40,000 frontline workers.