UP man offers to roll up his sleeve for human trial of Covid-19 vaccine
At a time when the entire world is hiding behind masks and living in fear of the deadly corona virus, a 44-year-old man from Lakhimpur Kheri is willing to roll up his sleeve and get infected if it would help find a vaccine.
He has written to different authorities in the state, volunteering to be the first to undergo human trial for any vaccine to fight corona.
Harkeerat Singh, who worked for the National Health Mission in 2017-18 and is presently staying in his village in Prayagraj said, “I believe life has given me an opportunity to do something for mankind. This is why I have offered myself to any authority/team working to make a vaccine for Sars-Cov-2.”
“No new vaccine can be administered without human trial and I am ready to be that first human,” he said.
“I do not know exactly who are involved in making a vaccine, but I offer myself for human trial, whether in India or anywhere else, ” said Singh who lives with his father and brother.
He has written to the health department, the local MLA and also to Sikh Sangathan in Lucknow in this connection.
Asked what inspired him to make the offer, Singh said, “The Sikh community has been known for serving mankind and I am just doing the same.”
About the dangers involved in such a trial, he said, “I am well aware of what can happen during a trial. But the cause is much greater than the dangers. I have made up my mind and then expressed such a desire.”
He said he was ready to go to any place or country. Asked about the reaction of his family, he said, “I have not yet discussed with them but believe they will not stop me from doing my bit for mankind.”
However, medical experts said there were medical and ethical issues to be addressed first.
“Such an offer should be appreciated but one has to fulfill medical criteria to prove fitness for a trial. Secondly, there are ethical issues that are looked into by a medical/pharmacology committee of the state and then centre,” said Prof Samir Misra, member of the governing council of the state medical faculty.
He said a vaccine was ready for human trial only after animal trial. Hence human trial could not be done directly but if the committee found him fit his offer may be kept in pending for such a trial if it happened in India.
“Such a human trial will take a long time as there are many stages for a vaccine to come to human trial,” said Prof Misra, also senior faculty at department of trauma surgery at the King George’s Medical University.