‘Part of COVID Vaccine ‘Covaxin’ Trials, Here’s My Experience’
Manjunath, the nocturnal auto ambulance man of Karnataka, volunteered for the second phase of the human trials.
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
Video Producer: Saradha Natarajan
I work three jobs a day and I am called the nocturnal auto-ambulance man of Belgaum, Karnataka. My name is Manjunath Nigappa Pujari, and I took part in the COVID-19 vaccine trial advertised by Bharat Biotech. I lost my father due to coronavirus, and I wanted to do my part to beat the pandemic.
In the month of August, I saw an advertisement in the paper by Bharat Biotech, seeking volunteers for the ‘Covaxin’ human trials. I signed up immediately for it. All the volunteers who had signed up were asked to assemble at the hospital and give their blood and urine samples. I was not able to be part of the first phase of the vaccine trial as my sugar level was not in control.
The doctors told me that my health report was fine but as my sugar level was high they would not be able to administer the vaccine.
People told me that it was good that I did not make it in the first phase. They further said that I should consider this as a sign and not wait for the second phase of trial. But I was very sure as to what I was getting into.
The doctors informed me that if my sugar levels are brought under control, I could opt to be a part of the second phase of the trials. I tried to keep my diet intact and went on walks to maintain my sugar level. The second time my samples were taken, all the required conditions were intact.
On 9 September, I was given the first shot of the vaccine and on 6 October, I got the second doze.
After the first doze, I felt extremely hungry but did not feel any discomfort, like swelling or itching. I did not have any allergic symptoms either.
I was required to appear six times for the vaccine trials. After getting the second shot, I appeared for the first follow up on 20 October, and the second follow up was scheduled on 3 November. The third follow up is scheduled for 3 January, 2021. The final follow up will be scheduled in the month of February.
There has been no change in my body or my daily lifestyle. I am living my life – how I used to before getting vaccinated. The doctors have also informed us that we should not consult any other doctor during the course of the trials and should immediately inform them if we feel any discomfort.
About 300 people from my village have signed up for vaccine trials. All the volunteers will be given Rs 6,000 after the entire process is completed. My wife Rajeshwari has enrolled herself for the third phase of the vaccine trial, and received her first shot on 12 December.
I thought about the number of people succumbing to coronavirus, and I believed that by being a part of the vaccine trials, I can die knowing that I have done a good deed.
In case the vaccine works, lakhs of people will benefit from it and that's what made me enrol for the human trial of Covaxin.
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