Desi doctors show courage and direction as vaccination begins


Indian-American cancer physician, researcher and author Siddhartha Mukherjee,

Our Bureau
New York 

Celebrated Indian-American cancer physician, researcher and author Siddhartha Mukherjee has suggested that one should get the vaccine whenever one becomes eligible for it. A professor of medicine at Columbia University founder of a vaccine-delivery platform called Othena, Mukherjee took the Pfizer vaccine this week and tweeted about it.  

Several Indian-American physicians, in the frontline of the fight against the pandemic, are publicly taking the coronavirus vaccine and encouraging others to get the shots, emphasizing that the vaccine is the “only saving grace” and a “scientific blessing” that will help the world win the battle against COVID-19.

“We all should take the vaccine. It is very effective and we are seeing good results. The vaccine is the only saving grace we have right now and we have to take it,” former President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Dr. Suresh Reddy told the new agency PTI.

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.  “The vaccine is indeed a scientific blessing,” Shah, member of Board of Trustees of Texas Medical Association and President of South Texas Wound Associates, said.

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.

“Science says we can beat the disease by using face masks, maintaining social distancing and regular hand-washing. These are the three basic principles that everybody needs to follow whether you get the vaccine or not. This needs to continue till we get the herd immunity,” said Shah, a past president of AAPI.

Cardiologist Dr Avinash Gupta and President of Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America also publicly received the COVID-19 vaccine. Former President of Federation Of Indian Association Alok Kumar tweeted a picture of Gupta receiving the vaccine and expressed gratitude to him for “taking the leadership role” in publicly taking the immunization shot.  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. 

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