14 June, 2021

They Took The Shot For You

It takes courage and conviction to be a human test case for an unknown virus and an unproven cure

Photograph by Suresh K. Pandey
They Took The Shot For You

Heroes are not always born. They are sometimes made—ordinary men and women moulded into steel by the need of the times, when humanity faces its sternest test. Like a pandemic. Like today.  And these are no cape-wearing crusaders. Just the man next door. Or a young engineer. Even a student. Like Pratibha Jain, 25, of Jaipur. Or 50-year-old Santosh K. More, a Pune-based CSR consultant. And many more who have put up their hands in the search for an effective vaccine against the coronavirus; these are the people who volunteered to take the shots in the crucial human trial phase that measures the effectiveness of a new treatment.

New drugs or vaccines go through rigorous tests and evaluation on animals and then humans before reaching regulators for approval. In 1955, when American virologist Jonas Edward Salk developed one of the first successful polio vaccines, his entire family volunteered for the clinical human trials to determine the efficacy of the medicine. Behind the success of every drug developed successfully are a group of selfless people who brave the...

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