At a time when vaccine distribution to states across India is in full swing ahead of the January 16 launch, the Congress party has raised questions on the safety, compatibility of India's homegrown Covid vaccine named COVAXIN, asking the government how it can be rolled out when it is yet to clear phase-3 trials. Congress MP Manish Tewari has upped the issue saying Indians are not guinea pigs (someone who is used for an experiment), raising doubts on Bharat Biotech's vaccine efficacy.
Congress has cautioned the government that since the 'Covaxin' vaccine has not completed phase-3 trials, it should not be rolled out as Indians are not "guinea pigs".
Congress leader Manish Tewari said, "The government should not roll out vaccines till their efficacy is completely established and mandatory phase-3 trials are over, as Indians are not 'guinea pigs'."
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His objections are over 'Covaxin' which has been approved for emergency use but has not completed phase-3 trials to prove its reliability. The Congress leader said that the government is not giving a choice to the people.
Manish Tewari tweets
Tewari tweeted, "Till yesterday NDA/BJP claimed Covaxin has been cleared for emergency use. Today by not allowing recipients to pick vaccine of his choice is NDA/BJP making guinea pigs out of Indians @drharshvardhan. Is roll out THE REAL Phase-3 Trial of Covaxin?"
Meanwhile, as the Congress party raises doubts on the vaccines, Dr Samiran Panda, Scientist G & Head of Epidemiology & Communicable Diseases Division, ICMR has said, "both Covishield and Covaxin are safe and there should not be an iota of apprehension about its safety. We should all try to dispel the myths and misconceptions around both vaccines."
Covaxin's first consignment reaches Delhi
The first consignment of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin landed in Delhi from Hyderabad on Wednesday. Bharat Biotech aims to dispatch around 55 lakh vaccines to 11 cities in the initial phase, including Delhi, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Chennai and Jaipur.
In Delhi, the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH) would receive 20,000 doses of Bharat Biotech's Covid vaccine from a consignment which landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here on Wednesday morning, officials said.
The RGSSH has already received 2.64 lakh doses of the 'Covishield' vaccine on Tuesday. The hospital has received 22 boxes consisting of 26,400 vials of 'Covishield', the Covid vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
(With inputs from IANS)