MP home minister volunteers for Covid-19 vaccine trial, gets rejected

Madhya Pradesh home minister on Thursday expressed his willingness to volunteer for the vaccine trial amid reports that the response to the trial from people was not good
By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sparshita Saxena | Hindustan Times, Bhopal
UPDATED ON DEC 04, 2020 11:37 PM IST
Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra.(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT)

Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra turned up at a private medical college on Friday to volunteer for a Covid-19 vaccine trial. However, after a counselling session by the medical college doctors, he was not found eligible for the vaccination, as per the minister, authorities of the medical college and the university which runs the medical college.

The minister on Thursday expressed his willingness to volunteer for the vaccine trial amid reports in a section of media that response to the trial from people was not good and that in the first four days of the trial less than 50 people turned up for the same.

The minister said on Thursday, “I am willing to volunteer for Covid-19 vaccine trial. I will go to the medical college on Friday. If people like us come forward for the trial it will inspire others to do so.”

Dean of People’s Medical College, Bhopal, Col (retd) Anil Dixit said on Friday, “As per the guidelines of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) the person desiring to volunteer for Covid-19 vaccine trial should not have any of his family members infected with Covid-19. Since, as per the information from the minister, his wife and son were infected with the virus, vaccination of the minister is not possible under the eligibility criteria.”

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Home minister Narottam Mishra said, “I thought it was an opportunity for me to do something to serve the society but I was not found eligible after the counselling session. This is why I am pained. However, I also feel that the process of monitoring of the volunteers after the vaccination should be simplified as it involves regular monitoring for over a period one year. This may lead to apprehensions in the mind of people volunteering for the trial.”

Vice-chancellor of People’s University, which runs People’s Medical College, Dr Rajesh Kapoor said, “The reason why a person who, or any member of his family, has been a Covid-19 patient is excluded from the list of volunteers for the trial is that there are chances of them having developed antibody against the virus after being infected with the disease. Hence, such a trial will not suggest a true result.”

Dr Kapoor said, “The trial began four days back but I can’t comment on the level of response of people to the trial as we are not supposed to share the same with media as per the ICMR’s guidelines. However, the trial is being conducted as per the international norms and we are ensuring compliance of every aspect of the trial. We have a target of conducting the trial on 2,000 volunteers in a month or so but we don’t want to go for any publicity campaign either as this might result in a large number of people turning up for the trial and it will be difficult for us to manage the situation.”

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