Mumbai: 56-year-old man from Thane among 100 volunteers to sign for COVID-19 vaccine trial

Updated: 14 October, 2020 11:21 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

It is not ethical for them to talk about the trial. We will discuss this issue and may even be forced to not give this volunteer the second shot, KEM hospital dean said

KEM hospital at Parel
KEM hospital at Parel

A 56-year-old Thane man, who has been involved in 23 different Corona-relief projects, is among the 100 volunteers from across the city who has signed up for the COVID-19 vaccine trial. The Thane-based resident is part of the first round of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine trial covering 100 volunteers at BMC-run KEM Hospital in Parel.

The second round of injections for the 100 volunteers will start after the first round ends later this week. Speaking to the Times of India, Anil Hebbar, a medical entrepreneur and father-of-two, said, "I took the vaccine on October 8." Hebbar had also contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate.

However, KEM Hospital dean Dr. Hemant Deshmukh said that volunteers sign a non-disclosure clause. "It is not ethical for them to talk about the trial. We will discuss this issue and may even be forced to not give this volunteer the second shot."

The COVID-19 vaccine trial which is currently underway in Mumbai is a randomised one with one placebo jab for every three vaccine injections. Interestingly, the medical team administering the dose isn't told in advance if a volunteer will get a placebo or the vaccine.

After receiving the first dosage of the vaccine, Hebbar said that he had some weakness and body pain. He said that he kept the vaccine trial as a secret from his family as he was not sure as to how they would "appreciate" his impulse to sign up. "We are facing a pandemic and the earlier a vaccine candidate is found, the better it is for mankind," he said.

Hebbar said that he began working for Covid relief right in April when he noticed the poor didn't have provisions.

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First Published: 14 October, 2020 11:00 IST

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