Estd. 2010

Author: Dr.Srinivas M.D Page 1 of 17

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PMSF statement on approval for COVAXIN and COVISHEILD

India ranks high among the countries worst affected by COVID19 pandemic. It need also be acknowledged that when developed in strict conformity with the principles of science and epidemiological rationale, vaccines have played an important role in the advancement of health and wellbeing of the human race as also of other species that exist in our close environment. To this extent, the efforts made by different governments and companies, including Indian companies like the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech appeared to step in the right direction to serve the interest of the people, until the undue haste and disconcerting exigency in pushing for approval and deployment of the vaccine without sufficient scientific data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.
While India was quick to criticize China and Russia for emergency approvals without efficacy data, it failed to exercise diligence when its turn arrived. There are many reasons to suspect that profit and political gains have taken precedence over science.
The current incoherent messaging regarding vaccine efficacy, statements like 110% certain of vaccine efficacy by DCGI, “LIKELY” to be effective against UK strain of COVID19 statement by Health Minister, have taken the scientific community and general public by surprise. The Director of AIIMS
is on record stating “COVAXIN will be used as a backup for COVISHIELD which doesn’t have proven efficacy.” As a group of doctors and researchers actively monitoring the situation, Progressive Medicos and Scientific Forums (PMSF) wishes to raise the following concerns for a wider consideration of the scientific community as well as the general public:
1. Role of Universal Vaccination in COVID pandemic: Public health experts in the country (IPHA, IAPSM, IAE) have stated that “Vaccines have no role to play in the current pandemic”. A successful vaccine (both high efficacy and high safety) is unlikely in the short duration of the corona pandemic. Telescoping a decade long process to less than a year is likely to leave some uncovered areas either in safety or in efficacy. A minor mistake can be magnified leading to disastrous consequences for many. Preliminary data suggests that less efficacious vaccine can promote the selection of more virulent mutants.
2. DCGI Approval document stating “clinical trial mode” doesn’t provide any additional details of the same. Will informed consent be taken from all those who take the vaccine and experience adverse effects be eligible for compensation? Serum Institute has threatened a participant in the clinical trial with defamation suit demanding financial compensation. Instances, where the trial was conducted without adequate information and consent, are being brought to notice already. If adherence to protocol
has been violated even while under trial, there is less likelihood of the same during large scale deployment.
3. It is not clear if there is any scientific basis to claim that COVAXIN will be effective in the “context of infection by mutant strains” when its efficacy has not been established and is currently unknown against any strain of the virus. The claim being propagated that the whole virion inactivated vaccine is likely to be effective against mutations of the virus is not being supported by any efficacy from the trial because no data have as yet been generated in the Phase 3 trial. Experts have already warned that current vaccines may not protect against South African mutant strain. With such worldwide uncertainty of vaccine against mutants, what is the basis of these claims made?
4.How was non-inferiority/equivalence of COVISHIELD to the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine established without efficacy data available for the former? Without efficacy data, the purpose of conducting a study in Indian population is lost. Preliminary data suggested that in the dosing regimen followed by Serum Institute of India, efficacy was 62% compared to 70% elsewhere.
5. Last, but certainly not the least, the government and its policy planners ought not to forget that disease is far more a phenomenon that plays out in a given social context, and that no disease can be controlled without winning over the people to the side of such efforts. In this regard we have the following to contend with – practical realities of cold chain efficacy, post-vaccination monitoring for adverse effects, and an unholy grail of unethical vaccine trials conducted under the pressure of and funding from big multinational ‘PHILANTHRO-CAPITAL’ vaccine companies and foundations leading even to loss of lives.
6. Another issue that needs further investigation is the business interests and financial stakes involved for the companies and for their political collaborators, including the members of the ruling party in this great vaccine enterprise. It is a case of financial interests of the companies whose relations with ruling dispensation are being talked of and need further elaboration, trumping over the scientific approach to the pandemic control. This could well explain the undue haste in pushing vaccine approvals while throwing all caution to winds despite the fact that the epidemiological situation of the pandemic in the country does not demand so.
It needs emphasis again that the considered opinion of public health experts is that “Vaccines have no role to play in a current pandemic”, the pandemic in
India at national and provincial levels has plateaued and is on its way down with very few cases being reported across all cities and most of the rural areas as well and moreover, there is no role whatsoever for universal immunization against Covid as is being promoted.
In view of the above concerns, PMSF demands revoking of the approval of vaccine candidates and revisiting of the vaccination and approval strategy based on the efficacy data and other considerations mentioned above. Science can’t be compromised in the pursuit of private profit and political gains. If the current trend is not called out and checked, it will help the complete takeover of science by corporate.

India : 29 cases of UK COVID strain Detected

After UK reported cases of COVID, 29 patients who tested positive for the same have been kept in isolation at designated health facilities. The new strain is said to be more contagious than the other strains of the coronavirus. Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore have also reported the presence of the same strain.

AIIMS, Rajkot : PM Modi lays foundation stone

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for new AIIMS at Rajkot, Gujarat. In an official statement from PMO read “201 acres of land has been provided by the government for the project. ”It will be built at an estimated cost of Rs1,195 crore and is expected to be completed by mid-2022. The state-of-the-art 750-bed hospital will also have a 30-bed AAYUSH block. It will have 125 MBBS seats and 60 nursing seats,”


AIIMS, New Delhi : JP Nadda recovers from COVID19

BJP President JP Nadda recovered from COVID19. Thanks AIIMS Director, Randeep Guleria and staff for their services.

I thank everyone for their wishes, prayers and moral support during my illness. My family members and I have now fully recovered from COVID-19. We wholeheartedly thank Dr Randeep Guleria,Dir AIIMS and his team for their dedication & continued support in these challenging times.


AIIMS, Madurai : Loan agreement with Japan by March 2021

AIIMS, Madurai had its foundation stone laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 2019. There was no progress related to the project and lack of clarity regarding the funding for construction. The loan agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Japan for sanctioning funds from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the construction of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Madurai is likely to be signed in March 2021, reveals a Right to Information (RTI) Act reply from the Department of Health and Family Welfare. The RTi was filed by the activist Mr. Pandiaraja.

AIIMS, New Delhi : Recruitment Notice for Senior Residents and Senior Demonstrators Jan 2021 Session

An Act of Parliament in 1956 established the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) as an autonomous institution of national importance and defined its objectives and functions. By virtue of this Act, the Institute awards its own medical degrees and other academic distinctions. The degrees awarded by the Institute under the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Act are recognized medical qualifications for the purpose of the Indian Medical Council Act and notwithstanding anything contained therein, are deemed to be included in the first schedule of that Act, entitling the holders to the same privileges as those attached to the equivalent awards from the recognized Universities of India.

Senior Residents / Senior Demonstrators  Open on Closed on Date of uploading of Prospectus & Commencement of online registration of the application. 18.12.2020 (Friday) 07.01.2021 (up to 5:00 PM)  Date for uploading status of application: Accepted & Rejected with reasons. Applicants are required to check status on 13.01.2021 through the Registration Status Tab of their My Page after Login. 13.01.2021 Wednesday  Last date for submission of required documents/images for Regularization of Rejected Application. No correspondence will be entertained after 19.01.2021 under any circumstance and candidates are requested NOT TO CONTACT the Examination Section. 19.01.2021 Tuesday



The Recruitment Test shall be conducted through a Computer Based Test (CBT).

• The examination shall be held on the Last Week of January 2021(Tentatively).

• The duration of the Test shall be 1½ hours (90 minutes). – Senior Residents / Senior Demonstrators Session January 2021 Prospectus – 10

• The Online (CBT) Recruitment Test will be conducted in one shift:

Timing for: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

The examination centres are tentatively proposed in 4 cities all over India 11. TYPE OF PAPER: The Competitive Entrance Examination will have one paper in English language consisting of 80 (Eighty) Objective Type (Multiple Choice type) questions

SUBJECTS: The Recruitment Test for SR/SD will consist of multiple-choice questions covering the concerned speciality.


a) CBT online test

• Each correct response will get a score of 1 mark.

• No credit will be given for the questions not answered or marked for review (Questions marked for review shall be considered as unanswered).

• There will be no negative marking. b) Interview

• The Interview will carry 20 marks.

• The merit list(s) for all categories i.e. SC/ST/OBC/UR/EWS shall be prepared on the basis of combined marks of online test and interview.

Source: AIIMS Exams (Official Website)

Covid-19 case rates nearly doubled in London over the past week, with almost 60% of these infections attributed to the new strain, according to government officials.

In response, Johnson announced a new top tier of pandemic curbs for hot-spot regions around the capital. All non-essential shops will close and 16.4 million people — 31% of England’s population — were ordered to stay at home. ( Read More(The Print) )

Nursing staff has been at the forefront, quite literally, of combating the lethal virus. The year, however, has been punctuated with confusing protocols on Covid treatment initially, lapses in healthcare infrastructure, and no work-life balance, not to mention the unbearable PPE suits. Read more (The Print)

AIIMS, New Delhi: Prof. Balram Bhargava, aged 59 years, Chief of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has been after he tested positive for COVID-19.ICMR was recently embroiled in a controversy after announcing August 15th deadline for the vaccine. While ICMR, MOHFW, AIIMS, New Delhi have been subject to criticism as their heads havebeen blaming the people for not following COVID protocols, many of their staff have tested positive for COVID.

AIIMS Nurses Union Announces Indefinite Strike

The indefinite strike has been called for by AIIMS Nurses Union in response to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s decision to recruit nurses on a contractual basis as retaliation to our strike.
The indefinite strike was supposed to start on16th of this month. And we had given the strike notice with one month period for taking appropriate measures to fulfil our genuine demands. But the government not only showed any receptivity to our demands but also started recruiting nurses on a contractual basis to undermine the strike.
In response to this arrogant undemocratic attitude towards the nurses who have been struggling with Covid pandemic, the aggrieved nurses of AIIMS have decided to go on strike immediately. The emergency executive meeting has unanimously decided to go with the gathered nurses’ opinion.
However, we will be 24×7 available for any kind of communication from the government as to our genuine demands.” said the post by an executive member of the AIIMS Nurses Union.

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