Several Indian-American physicians have publicised getting the coronavirus vaccine shot and are encouraging others to follow suit, emphasising that the vaccine is the “only saving grace” and a “scientific blessing” that will help the world win the battle against COVID-19.
US president-elect Joe Biden publicly received his shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine earlier in the week at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware, while US Vice-President Mike Pence also televised getting his shot.
The US began administering vaccines a week ago and has approved jabs developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Former President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Dr Suresh Reddy said the vaccine is very effective and they are seeing good results. Reddy recently received the Pfizer vaccine shot and said he did not have any reactions.
“I' 'm very excited about the (vaccine). I think whoever is given an option they should take the vaccine. There is no need to hesitate. There is nothing to be shy about in taking the vaccine. It’s very safe,” he said, adding that the vaccines will help the world move forward.
The US has the world's highest absolute number of cases as well as the most deaths related to the virus. The country surpassed 18 million reported COVID-19 cases this week, figures from Johns Hopkins University showed.
Dr Jayesh Shah, wound care and hyperbaric physician based in Texas, also received the Pfizer vaccine publicly. He said a majority of people need to take the vaccine as that is the only way to beat COVID-19. He added that if about 70 per cent of the population takes the vaccine, that will help create herd immunity.
Addressing the scepticism people may have about the vaccine, which has been developed in a record time compared to previous vaccines that have taken years, Shah said, “It was all hands on deck. Everybody was working on the vaccines full time,” and added that the time (to develop the vaccine) may have been short, but the amount of hours and resources that have been put into developing the coronavirus vaccines has been tremendous and almost at par with previous vaccines developed over longer periods of time.
Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s combined manufacturing network has the potential to supply globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.
Moderna said approximately 20 million doses will be delivered to the US government by the end of December 2020.
Claims that people died during the Pfizer vaccine trials were debunked by various news agencies earlier this month. Reuters has recently debunked other claims about the first person to receive the vaccine in the UK and the vaccine itself as well.