United Democratic Party (UDP) leader Jemino Mawthoh has expressed his worries over the Covid-19 vaccine, the distribution of which will begin on January 16.
He told Highland Post today that it should not be mandatory for the public to be vaccinated if they so choose.
“This is the first time in my life that I am very unsure about a lot of things, especially what is going on related to this Covid-19,” Mawthoh said.
While political leaders the world over are encouraging the public to be vaccinated and reject misinformation, Mawthoh said that there have been contradictory statements even from the scientific community.
The country’s drugs regulator has given the green light to two vaccines – one developed by AstraZeneca with Oxford University and the Serum Institute of India (known as Covishield) and one by Indian firm Bharat Biotech (Covaxin). Experts have raised concerns over India’s emergency approval of Covaxin before the completion of the final set of safety and efficacy trials. However, the vaccine to be distributed in Meghalaya will be Covishield, as announced by the government yesterday.
Mawthoh admitted that he is not an authority on this issue but he feels that every individual should be given freedom of choice and this should be respected.
“We respect the decision of the government of India but the people are still in a state of confusion relating to the coronavirus and the vaccine so I feel it should be an individual choice,” he added.