WB Minister volunteers for Covid-19 vaccine trials

West Bengal Minister Firhad Hakim volunteers for Covid-19 vaccine trials

He said that he isn't bothered about potential side effects and will not regret it if he develops problems later on

Firhad Hakim at a cycle rickshaw donation event. Credit: Twitter Photo/@FirhadHakim

West Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim volunteered to take part in the upcoming phase III clinical trial of the indigenous Covid-19 vaccine made by Bharat Biotech in partnership with ICMR, Covaxin. The trials would be conducted on 1,000 volunteers in the state by the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in Kolkata.

NICED sources said that the minister contacted them end expressed that he wishes to be part of the trial.

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The 62-year-old Minister, who is also the chairperson of the board of administrator of Kolkata Municipality, said that people were united in the fight against the virus and he wanted to contribute to the cause by volunteering for the trial.

“People are fighting against the virus and I want to be a part of the fight. I want to become a volunteer for the Covid-19 vaccine trial for the people of Kolkata and Bengal,” said Hakim.

The Minister also said that he was not worried about any potential side effects of the vaccine and was determined to go ahead with the trials even if it resulted in side effects.

“I am least bothered about the side effects. Even if something happens to me after taking the vaccine I will not have any regret,” said Hakim.

He also said that the NICED authorities would conduct a health check up on him and depending on the results they would decide whether he was fit for the trials.

NICED sources said that they had welcomed the minister’s desire to volunteer for the trials.

“Mr Hakim’s desire to be part of the Covid-19 vaccine trials is a very positive gesture. We welcome it,” said a NICED official.

Sources in the Health Department said that the task of preparing required infrastructure for storage and supply of Covid-19 vaccine was complete and additional infrastructure would be provided if required.

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