The minister is admitted to Gurugram's Medanta Hospital.

 Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij volunteers in the trials for potential coronavirus vaccine Covaxin, at Civil Hospital in Ambala district, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. PTI photo
news Health Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 09:50

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij, who is currently battling the COVID-19 infection, was on Tuesday admitted to Gurugram's Medanta Hospital in a critical condition, officials said. The minister is getting treatment under Dr Sushila Kataria, senior director of Internal Medicine Department at Medanta, sources told IANS, adding that the minister is suffering from lung infection. However, there was no official response from the hospital.

Vij was admitted to Medanta in the evening from the Haryana government's Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak where he was admitted on Saturday and had received convalescent plasma therapy. The institute had stated that Vij had moderate COVID-19 with bilateral viral pneumonia.

The sources told IANS that his family insisted to shift him to the private facility in Gurugram from PGIMS after they found his health condition not improving there.

Earlier, he was being treated at the Civil Hospital in Ambala district.

The minister had, last month, received a jab of the two-dose trial of indigenous COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin, developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, after he offered to be a volunteer in its Phase 3 trials. He had tested positive for COVID-19 on December 5.

Vij was administered the dose on November 20 at the Civil Hospital in Ambala Cantonment. His news of testing positive for COVID-19, days after receiving the vaccine dose had triggered questions on the vaccine's efficacy among the public.

Bharat Biotech, however, contended that clinical trials of the vaccine are based on a two-dose schedule, given 28 days apart. "The vaccine efficacy will be determined two weeks after the second dose," it had said. Covaxin has been designed to be protective two weeks after volunteers receive the second dose, their statement read.

The Union Health Ministry had also stepped in to say that Covaxin is a two-dose vaccine and that Vij was given only the first dose a fortnight before he tested positive.

"The antibodies against the infection build up in a human being only after a specific number of days pass after the second dose of the vaccine is taken. This is a two-dose vaccine. The minister in question has taken only one dose of the vaccine," the ministry had said in a statement.

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