- As we all are aware, few of the European and Western Countries are in the grip of virus spread being categorized as the second wave by the experts. The United States of America is in the deadly grip of the third wave where confirmed infection cases are consistently reported more than 2 lakhs per day for the past several days. Fortunately, back home in India, there is a gradual reduction in the confirmed infection cases for the past few weeks allowing the nation to pick up speed on the economic front.
PC: Rajiv Leventhal
- Amidst all the dark tidings subjected to over the past several months, heartwarming information on the development of an effective vaccine has considerably cheered up the entire world what with the United Kingdom already started administering mass vaccination this week. Few of the leading vaccine candidates are garnering Emergency User Approvals (EUA) from the respective Governments to finally tame the virulent virus on its track. Silver-lining indeed is appearing on the horizon in this battle of attrition at last.
- Indian efforts at vaccine development also have some welcome tidings with no less than the Prime Minister himself going on record to inform the entire nation about the elixir of life making its anticipated presence in the next few weeks. The mood prevalent in the nation with the announcement is nothing short of optimistic and the bull run on the Sensex amply demonstrate the overall positivity coursing across the nation. A word of caution though is not out of place looking at the not so transparent data or information made available on the vaccine trials front.
PC: News Editor
- Reading news reports about the palpable unease among scientists over Indian vaccine makers submitting vaccines for emergency licenses without publicly releasing the relevant data from trials is a cause for concern. Note that all leading manufacturers like Pfizer, Moderna, and Oxford-AstraZeneca have sought emergency use authorization only after duly publishing Phase 3 trial data on vaccine efficacy. On the contrary, Bharat Biotech hasn’t published Phase 1/2 safety and immunogenicity data for Covaxin yet.
- Likewise, the Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield vaccine has reportedly preferred to approach the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) with interim data from the Phase 2 and 3 India trials. Though hurry to introduce inoculation is understandable seeking allowances in life-threatening conditions, companies withholding data gleaned from trials raises question marks about the transparency expected on the matter. In this regard, DGCI as a regulator should ensure the relevant trial data are shared without holding back.
PC: SMEStreet Edit Desk
- Opaque handling in sharing information on the vaccine trial data is akin to extending an open-ended invitation for the social media exponents to spread misinformation and fake news sowing avoidable doubts on the unsuspecting minds. Established vaccines are known to have side effects and as such, newer vaccine under trials will have encountered similar cases in some people, though could be too minor to register or disconcertingly lasting several hours on others. Whatever information is recorded should be shared transparently.
- Therefore, it is incumbent on the part of the Governments, both Union and the State, to keep sharing all relevant information on the vaccine front holding back none whatsoever. People are known to get swayed away by disinformation, and the best way to counter is to share the data by co-opting experts from the field to disseminate on the same aggressively.