Raising 'efficacy concerns', Congress MP Manish Tewari on Saturday, questioned the lack of public data of Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN's trials and efficacy. Voicing out concerns of various experts, Tewari claimed that the doctrine of informed consent violated as recipients did not have the choice between COVAXIN and COVISHIELD. Pan-India vaccination drive is currently underway across 3006 centres in states.
If the vaccine is so safe & reliable & efficacy of the vaccine is beyond question then how is it that not a single functionary of the government has stepped forward to get themselves vaccinated as it has happened in other countries around the world?: Congress MP Manish Tewari https://t.co/M1PdUV96Xr— ANI (@ANI) January 16, 2021
Replying to the Congress MP, Union Health Minister once again assure Tewari that the safety of the vaccine was assured and tested by the top Indian experts. Stating that he would take Dr. Vardhan's word for it due to the respect he held for him, Tewari still questioned as to why was the scientific community divided over COVAXIn then. He also shared a letter allegedly signed by doctors at RML hospital, refusing to take COVAXIN, asking the Centre to innoculate them with COVISHIELD instead.
Sh @ManishTewari Ji, science behind #COVID19vaccines is resolute— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 16, 2021
Our scientists have worked at lightning speed to expedite functions that contribute to development of a vaccine but not a single function has been circumvented
Safety above all else has been the guiding principle! https://t.co/lcfsXiC2gN
The controversy over COVAXIN - an indigenous COVID-19 vaccine by Bharat Biotech, developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Virology (NIV) began after DCGI granted permission for restricted use in an emergency situation. Covaxin - a Whole Virion Inactivated Corona Virus Vaccine - 22,500 participants vaccinated in Phase-III trials and was found to be safe as per the data available till date. Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan explained that COVAXIN is more likely to work against newer variants like N501Y Variant (UK variant) & any other variant and clarified hat COVAXIN was given a different approval i.e 'clinical trial mode' - where all COVAXIN recipients will be tracked, monitored as if they’re in trial. All beneficiaries have to sign a consent form which promises compensation in case of 'adverse effects'. These conditions and the alleged 'rush in approval' for COVAXIN have been questioned by several experts.
Manish Kumar, a sanitation worker in Delhi, became the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in India after PM Modi flagged off the nationwide vaccination drive on Saturday, in the presence of Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan at AIIMS Delhi. PM Modi launched the nationwide vaccine drive on Saturday via videoconferencing and congratulated the people of India on getting two 'Made in India' vaccines. With a limit of 100 beneficiaries per centre, vaccination drive is underway in 3006 locations, inoculating 3 lakh health workers in the 'world's biggest vaccine programme'. The government has already purchased 1.1 crore COVISHIELD vaccine doses and 55 lakh COVAXIN vaccine shots - aiming to vaccinate 3 crore frontline warriors, in the first phase.