Please take the vaccine
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Dear Editor,

THE Indian vaccine is relatively safe compared with three others administered in America, and Guyanese and West Indians are urged to take it; it helps to prevent death from COVID-19. The vaccine will not cause death, and will boost immunity against the virus, thereby preventing death.
As per news reports, several countries suspended the Astra Zeneca vaccines, while others are continuing to administer it. European and South American countries at various times resumed vaccination, suspended, and resumed it again. The suspension is related to blood clots. Some countries have completely disallowed Astra Zeneca vaccines, based on age; not above 55 or 45. As it turns out, the AstraZeneca vaccine is not made in one factory, and the one that is facing queries is not the one from India that is being supplied to Guyana.

AstraZeneca is made at ‘labs’ in several countries. The one being suspended is made largely in the UK, South Korea, and other countries in Europe. Brazil and Mexico were to make vaccines, but lack the raw materials. India is also facing difficulties for the raw materials to ramp up production of vaccines. The US, one of the major suppliers of vaccine raw materials, has suspended exports, although President Biden has promised Prime Minister Modi to free up export materials to India to produce vaccines for the world.
The UK is continuing with the AstraZeneca vaccinations, with almost half the population receiving a ‘jab’. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was inoculated a couple weeks ago.

The suspended AstraZeneca vaccines are not made in India; the ones being supplied to Guyana and CARICOM, Brazil, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, SAARC, Myanmar, the Dominican Republic, Morocco, and other African countries, etc. AstraZeneca is known as Covishield in India. The WHO supplies AstraZeneca (by the name of COVAX) and another Indian vaccine (Covaxine) made by Bharat Biotech, to Third World countries, and has ordered two billion doses from India. Some 80M doses of the vaccines were administered in India, and another 40M elsewhere.  So far, there have been 300 reported side effects, and 75 deaths in India of people who were vaccinated. But neither the side effects nor the deaths have been confirmed as vaccine-related; there were other complications. The victims had other underlining issues. The number of side effects or deaths in other countries using India-made AstraZeneca is not known.

Going by the Indian data, it would suggest that the side effects, even if related to the vaccine, is less than a fraction of a fraction of one per cent, and the deaths a quarter of that number. That would suggest a success rate of over 99 per cent. In the US, Moderna and Pfizer have a 95 per cent efficacy experimental rate. The Russian Sputnik claims a 94 per cent efficacy rate, as reported in a reputable British journal. The Chinese Sinopharm claims an efficacy rate of just over 51 per cent, but data is not openly available. The Johnson and Johnson has an efficacy rate of 80 per cent. The infection and death rates of people who received the American, Chinese, and Russian vaccines are not known.
As advised by medical experts and the WHO, AstraZeneca (Covishield or Covaxine, known as Covax) is highly recommended. The blood clot issues reported in Europe have not been confirmed to be vaccine-related; studies are ongoing. Doctors say that COVID-19 itself causes blood clots. At any rate, any vaccine (Covax or otherwise) is better than no vaccine. I had my full vaccines, and so far, I have been COVID-19 free, in spite of being exposed to COVID-19 victims. Please take the vaccine.

Yours truly,

Dr. Vishnu Bisram

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