NEW DELHI: While governments across the world have announced several preventive measures and started mass vaccination drive to combat the spread of deadly coronavirus, many still have doubts regarding the efficacy and side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines.
While the clinical trials of Covaxin and Covishield are still ongoing and questions about their safety and efficacy are yet to be answered, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), has allowed the two homemade vaccines to be given to the general public.
These two indigenously developed vaccines are still under investigation, the same are being administered to the Indian citizens as part of the mass vaccination drive being carried out by the Centre.
The Health Ministry has not issued any formal guidelines about it, but health experts have cautioned people to use contraceptives after receiving the second dose.
The volunteers who have participated in Phase III clinical trials of Covaxin have been cautioned by the health experts to use a condom before having sex for three months.
The recruitment criteria for male volunteers with reproductive potentials advised, “Use of condoms to ensure effective contraception with the female partner and to refrain from sperm donation from first vaccination until at least 3 months after the last vaccination.”
However, this triggered a debate - shouldn’t the caution to use contraceptive be extended to all those individuals who have been covered under the current government vaccination drive?
Medical experts believe that the condition under clinical trial to use a condom for sex after vaccination is self-explanatory that there could be an adverse effect that is not known on the foetus or fertilisation process.
Experts say that the vaccinators must caution beneficiaries who have reproductive potential to avoid direct sex with partners from 3-12
Dr Deepak Verma, internal medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad, told a leading daily that SARS-CoV2 is a novel virus and the vaccine developed to neutralise it. However, it is too early to say whether there are any long-term side effects of the vaccine and whether they affect a man and a woman if they have intercourse.
The doctor, however, emphasised that in the current situation, “prevention is the best safeguard”.
India witnessed a massive surge in COVID-19 cases with 89,129 new cases being reported in the last 24 hours. With over 80,000 fresh cases, the caseload stands at 1,23,92,260, while the active coronavirus cases have reached 6,58,909, the Ministry of Health data on Saturday (April 3) at 8 AM showed.