According to Dr John, India will most probably prefer the SII vaccine (Covishield) which has an efficacy of around 70 per cent. He noted that 26,000 volunteers were chosen for trials and administered the second dose of vaccine in December 16. “We have to wait for one more month for the company to release details and results of the phase III trials,” he said.
When asked, government doctors said they have to use the vaccine provided by the government and hence do not have any choice in the matter. “Such a choice will be available only in private hospitals if they stock both vaccines,” said a doctor.
Dr Jayaprakash Muliyil, chairman, scientific advisory committee of ICMR’s National institute of epidemiology, it was advisable to use the vaccine in small doses in small pockets as all information about the two vaccines is yet to be released.
During the ebola virus outbreak in Angola, doctors had to opt for all out vaccination as people were dying like flies. “Though the vaccine was in its initial stage, it was given to the public as the last resort. But such a situation does not exist in India at present,” he said.