As India gears up for the world's largest vaccination programme, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Sunday quelled rumours surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines regarding impotency, quoting such speculations as "absolute rubbish". "We will never approve anything if there is even the slightest safety concern. Vaccines are 110 per cent safe. Some side effects like mild fever, pain and allergy are common for every vaccine. It (rumours of impotency) is absolute nonsense," VG Somani, Drug Controller General of India was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
When asked if people would face side effects after taking the vaccine, the DCGI said, "Yes, minor side effects will be there, including a little like pain in the shoulders, a slight fever, little allergies. This occurs in every vaccine but of-course, the vaccine is 110 per cent safe."
India's drugs regulator on Sunday approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.
The approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) was given on the basis of recommendations submitted by a COVID-19 subject expert committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
“After adequate examination, CDSCO has decided to accept the recommendations of the Expert Committee and accordingly, vaccines of M/s Serum and M/s Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situation," DCGI Dr V G Somani told a press conference here.
READ MORE | Covid vaccine is here! Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech get approval for restricted use in India
On December 31, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged people to be careful regarding rumours about vaccines and as responsible citizens refrain from forwarding messages on social media without checking.
"The number of new cases of COVID-19 is decreasing in the country now. We are preparing to run the world's largest vaccination programme in the next year. In our country, rumours spread quickly. Different people for their personal gains or due to irresponsible behaviour spread various rumours. Maybe rumours will be spread when vaccination begins, some have already begun," Prime Minister Modi had said.
The Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, has tied up with AstraZeneca to manufacture Covishield. Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
(With ANI inputs)