Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday slammed Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh for doubting the approval given to Bharat Biotech’s vaccine while its third phase trial is going on and said it was disgraceful for anyone to politicise a critical issue.
“Disgraceful for anyone to politicise such a critical issue. Shashi Tharoor, Akhilesh Yadav and Jairam Ramesh-don’t try to discredit well laid out science-backed protocols followed for approving Covid-19 vaccines,” Vardhan tweeted.
Yadav has questioned India’s Covid-19 vaccines and said he won’t take “BJP’s vaccine”. Before the Drug Control General of India (DCGI) gave the go-ahead to Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use of their vaccines on Sunday, Ramesh on Twitter claimed that though Bharat Biotech is a first-rate enterprise, internationally accepted protocols relating to phase three trials are being modified for Covaxin.
Tharoor too said that the approval to Bharat Biotech was premature. “The Covaxin has not yet had Phase 3 trials. Approval was premature and could be dangerous. @drharshvardhan should please clarify. Its use should be avoided till full trials are over. India can start with the AstraZeneca vaccine in the meantime,” he tweeted.
The DCGI gave approval for the emergency use of two Covid-19 vaccines, one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the other by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV).
The DCGI granted the approval on the basis of recommendations of 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 situations,” DCGI Dr V G Somani told the media on Sunday.