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No Clinical Trial Of COVID-19 Jab On Transgenders, Fear And Mistrust Keep Majority Of Them Away

Transgenders undergo several surgeries as well as hormonal treatments and there has been no trial so far to see whether Covid vaccines have any adverse impact due to it, they said.

No Clinical Trial Of COVID-19 Jab On Transgenders, Fear And Mistrust Keep Majority Of Them Away

Kolkata: A sizeable number of transgenders in West Bengal are yet to get the COVID-19 jab, the primary reasons being fear and mistrust among them about its impact owing to lack of clinical trial on them till date, experts said on Saturday. Transgenders undergo several surgeries as well as hormonal treatments and there has been no trial so far to see whether COVID-19 vaccines have any adverse impact due to it, they said.

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Even threats of social boycott, taking away benefits of social schemes and of even stopping monthly rations could not force them to take the vaccine, several transgenders from across West Bengal said.

A big chunk of the transgender community is yet to take the vaccine. This is because they are confused and have medical mistrust since no clinical trial was conducted, clinical trial specialist and pharmacologist Subhrojyoti Bhowmick told PTI.

Since the transgenders undergo treatments like hormonal therapy, breast implant, vaginoplasty (construction or reconstruction of the vagina), mastectomy (removal of one or both breasts), a trial is necessary before they are administered the vaccine, he said. Incidentally, a proposal to study the factors hindering COVID-19 inoculation and immunological response post-vaccination on 500 transgenders in the city by a team of doctors led by Bhowmick to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) was rejected.

The team was told that the matter was not of national importance. When contacted, a senior official of the state health department said that 25 to 30 per cent of the total transgender population of West Bengal were inoculated, many of them with the first dose, till early this month.

Around 7,500 of the transgender population in West Bengal have been vaccinated with at least the first dose. This is not a very good scenario since quite a good number of them are yet to receive the vaccine, the official said.

West Bengal’s total transgender population is nearly 30500, he added. Sanjib Bandopadhyay, a doctor of the state-run Beliaghata Infectious Diseases Hospital, supported the transgenders’ demand for a separate trail of the vaccines on them but rubbished their fear associated with the inoculation.

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Their (transgenders) demand for a trial is quite valid. But their fear of the consequences is illogical as there is not a single example of a transgender facing any health issue after being vaccinated. At this stage the jab is a necessity and everybody must go for the doses, he said.

Sukanta Das alias Chorki, a transgender from Mullickpur at Baruipur in the southern fringes of the city, said that she is yet to take the vaccine.

Tell me why should I get inoculated. There was no clinical trial conducted on any of us to find out whether it has any adverse effect on our body system. Many of us have to take regular medicines and I am one of them. Recently I have started taking medicines because I have to undergo vaginoplasty. I am the sole bread earner in my family and if something goes wrong with me who will look after them, Sukanta Das alias Chorki said.

Debi Acharya, another transgender in Malda town, said that though she was initially reluctant to take the vaccine, she understood the need of it after attending a few awareness programmes. A few transgenders in the state’s Murshidabad district as well as in the city said that they are being ”threatened” by the administration to take the vaccine or face social boycott. They claimed that they had also been told that their monthly rations would be stopped if they do not take the vaccine.

The local councillor had sent his men to my residence who asked to me quickly take the vaccine or else they will make sure that I am socially boycotted and I do not get rations or can purchase goods from local shops and markets, a transgender in Behrampore said when contacted over the phone.

Vaccine trial facilitator Snehendu Konar stressed on the need to carry out a trial of the vaccines on the transgenders.

“So far there has been no clinical trial on the transgenders. So no safety, immunogenicity and efficacy data of COVID vaccines on this group is available to us”. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) should include transgenders in its vaccine study protocol, he said.

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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

24,24,98,327Cases
20,40,54,102Active
3,35,14,449Recovered
49,29,776Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,24,98,327 and 49,29,776 have died; 20,40,54,102 are active cases and 3,35,14,449 have recovered as on October 22, 2021 at 5:24 am.

India

3,41,43,236 15,786Cases
1,75,7453,086Active
3,35,14,449 18,641Recovered
4,53,042 231Deaths
In India, there are 3,41,43,236 confirmed cases including 4,53,042 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,75,745 and 3,35,14,449 have recovered as on October 22, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,98,218 1,573

27,899 1,434

64,30,394 2,968

1,39,925 39

Kerala

48,88,523 8,733

82,093 1,240

47,79,228 9,855

27,202 118

Karnataka

29,84,849 365

9,017 86

29,37,848 443

37,984 8

Tamil Nadu

26,91,797 1,164

13,790 268

26,42,039 1,412

35,968 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,62,303 493

5,500 66

20,42,476 552

14,327 7

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,068 10

107 5

16,87,062 14

22,899 1

West Bengal

15,83,646 833

7,535 44

15,57,090 775

19,021 14

Delhi

14,39,488 22

311 1

14,14,087 21

25,090

Odisha

10,37,056 524

4,336 51

10,24,422 573

8,298 2

Chhattisgarh

10,05,773 38

206 21

9,91,995 16

13,572 1

Rajasthan

9,54,395 2

36 2

9,45,405 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,353 13

156 20

8,16,110 33

10,087

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,721 12

88 6

7,82,110 6

10,523

Haryana

7,71,125 9

131 2

7,60,945 11

10,049

Bihar

7,26,042 6

30 0

7,16,351 6

9,661

Telangana

6,69,739 183

3,967 1

6,61,829 183

3,943 1

Assam

6,07,811 384

3,762 152

5,98,087 228

5,962 4

Punjab

6,02,135 22

226 6

5,85,358 27

16,551 1

Jharkhand

3,48,526 40

166 24

3,43,225 16

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,787 14

176 0

3,36,213 14

7,398

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,386 87

814 14

3,26,143 73

4,429

Himachal Pradesh

2,22,138 202

1,452 58

2,16,955 140

3,731 4

Goa

1,77,765 59

618 21

1,73,790 35

3,357 3

Puducherry

1,27,564 43

454 7

1,25,258 50

1,852

Manipur

1,23,051 81

1,346 14

1,19,800 94

1,905 1

Mizoram

1,15,944 737

10,034 229

1,05,510 962

400 4

Tripura

84,369 18

105 10

83,448 8

816

Meghalaya

83,210 52

735 26

81,034 76

1,441 2

Chandigarh

65,315 3

26 2

64,469 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,065 22

140 2

54,645 20

280

Sikkim

31,819 19

185 10

31,241 9

393

Nagaland

31,670 11

250 5

30,743 15

677 1

Ladakh

20,896 10

43 9

20,645 1

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,678 2

4 2

10,670

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,646

7 0

7,510

129

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