Fear And Hope: Healthcare Workers’ Scepticism Over Safety, Side-effects Of Covid Vaccine

As India rolls out the world’s largest inoculation drive on Jan 16, adverse reactions in other countries to the Covid-19 vaccine and efficacy of the homegrown shot have raised concerns.

With the announcement of the launch date of the mass inoculation campaign against Covid-19, the country has formally begun the countdown for the roll-out of Covid vaccines.

However, as the date draws closer, there has been a rise in scepticism regarding the efficacy of vaccinations among healthcare workers at the top of the priority list to get vaccinated.

Doctors said that their colleagues confronted them with concerns about the safety aspect of vaccines licensed in India.

Suranjit Chatterjee, the Senior Internal Medicine Consultant at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said there is apprehension among those who need apprehension.

In addition, the possibility of side-effects is also causing more scepticism about the acceptance of vaccines, he said.

Dr. Neha Gupta, the Infectious Diseases Specialist at Medanta Hospital, Gurugram, also said that patients and even people working in health care have reservations about the side-effects of Covid vaccines.

“Concerns such as fever and severe body ache post the vaccination are shared even by people of my fraternity despite working in close quarters with immunization programmes,” she added.

Doctors said that accounts of adverse effects occurring abroad after vaccination have raised public and health fraternity concerns about the safety of vaccines.

In addition, the controversy surrounding the approval of Bharat Biotech’s vaccine has further fueled the current apprehension.

Dr. Sonali Malhotra, an ENT specialist at the Center-run Lady Hardinge Medical College, said that many of her colleagues were reluctant to take the vaccine jab, citing adverse effects recorded in countries where vaccination had begun.

“They are particularly wary of the complications associated with the vaccine, especially the severe ones being reported elsewhere. My family members have also shown unwillingness for the vaccination fearing the side-effects that may follow,” she said.

However, Malhotra has added that she’s all in for vaccination.

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