‘Indians are not guinea pigs’: Congress leader Manish Tewari raises questions over efficacy of Covaxin

Manish Tewari said that the rollout of Covaxin, which is being developed by Bharat Biotech, must not be used as a phase 3 trial.

Congress leader and Member of Parliament Manish Tewari has raised doubts over the efficacy of indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin. Tewari said that there are various concerns on the effectiveness of the vaccine as the phase 3 trials are yet not over. “Covaxin has not completed phase 3 trials and it should not be rolled out unless its reliability and efficacy is established completely,” Tewari was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

He also said that the rollout of Covaxin, which is being developed by Bharat Biotech, must not be used as a phase 3 trial. “Covaxin was licensed by the government for emergency use only. But now it is saying that the recipient will not have an option of pick and choose the vaccine. Indians are not guinea pigs,” Tewari said.

Earlier, Covaxin had to issue a clarification on the death of a volunteer. The company said that the volunteer of the phase III trial was due to cardio-respiratory failure as a result of suspected poisoning.

The Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical firm is developing Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Covaxin is among two vaccines that have been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

Covid vaccination in India: 1st batch of Covaxin reaches Delhi, lakhs of Covishield doses received at states, UTs

Serum Institute of India’s Covishield has also got an emergency use nod by the DGCI. The Pune-based institute is co-developing the vaccine in collaboration with the University of Oxford and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca.

Meanwhile, Dr Samiran Panda, Scientist G & Head of Epidemiology & Communicable Diseases Division at the Indian Council of Medical Research said that both the vaccines are absolutely safe and no one should have any apprehension about it.

“There should not be an iota of apprehension about the safety of Serum’ Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. We should all try to dispel the myths and misconceptions around both vaccines,” he was quote saying by ANI.

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