Around 49 top doctors and scientists from the medical fraternity in India have come down heavily on forces spreading misinformation around the COVID-19 vaccine slamming the politics ahead of the nationwide drive on January 16. Urging the citizens of the country to 'reject' such utterances over the COVID vaccine, the medical fraternity has remarked that the 'politicization and defamation' of the COVID vaccine was causing a 'huge credibility' crisis for the nation's medical community which was revered around the world.
"We are shocked to notice irresponsible statements by vested interests in print, electronic and social media platforms who are defaming the Indian scientific community and casting aspersions upon its integrity by making the politicized statements doubting the research in the field of COVID-19 vaccines," said the group of doctors in their statement.
"Such reprehensible utterances are causing a huge credibility crisis for the Indian scientific community who have devoted themselves and their lifetime to make India a name to reckon with in the export of vaccines all over the world. We urge upon our fellow countrymen to reject the manipulation of vested interests aimed at politicization and defamation of our nation's scientists, doctors, and scientific community."
The medical fraternity's anger over 'vaccine politics' comes in response to the shocking statements made by certain sections of the Opposition which has indulged in casting aspersions over the COVID-19 vaccine days before the nationwide vaccination drive on January 16.
After Subject Expert Committee (SEC)'s nod to Covishield and Covaxin, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said "I will not get vaccinated - that too on BJP's vaccine (COVID-19), as I don't trust it," at a press conference in Lucknow. Thereafter, party member Ashutosh Sinha came forward with an even more bizarre claim saying that vaccines can "make someone impotent".
On the other hand, Congress leaders like Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh have questioned why Covaxin has been approved while Phase-3 trials are still underway with the government modifying 'internationally accepted protocols'. On this, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria had clarified that Covaxin has only been approved as a 'backup' in case there is a surge in the cases, keeping in mind the UK and Africa variant.
Meanwhile, amid the politics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the world's biggest vaccination drive virtually on January 16. The first phase of vaccination will be free and the Centre will bear the cost of vaccines which will be injected to 3 crore frontline warriors.