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Hyderabad: Bharat Biotech's Joint Managing Director Suchitra Ella's tweet saying 50 of their employees tested positive for COVID received praised as well as criticism from netizens.

Referring to comments over Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin supply issues, Suchitra Ella tweeted "Quite disheartening to the teams to hear some states complaining about our intentions. 50 of our employees are off work due to covid, yet we continue to work under pandemic lockdowns 24x7 for U."

Reacting to her tweet, one user wrote: "How come your 50 employees down with Covid? We're they not vaccinated? Also, why not hire more people on temporary basis?"

"Hi just wanted to say Thank you. Both my grandparents are over 75 & took their first jab 5 weeks back, both tested COVID positive 2 weeks back. Low fever were their only symptoms, tested negative today, on the road to recovery with no major issues," tweeted another netizen.

"Thank you Bharat Biotech for your hard work and commitment on delivering vaccines every corner of India," another Twitter user said.

Ella said as many as 18 states received Covaxin though in smaller shipments.

The Hyderabad-based firm is supplying Covaxin to 18 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Odisha, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi.

The other states are Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Telangana, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

Meanwhile, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Thursday approved Phase 2 and 3 clinical trial of Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN vaccine in the age group of 2 to 18 years, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

"The National Regulator of the country, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), after careful examination, has accepted the recommendation of Subject Expert Committee (SEC) and accorded permission to conduct the Phase II/III clinical trial of Covaxin (COVID vaccine) in the age group 2 to 18 years, to its manufacturer Bharat Biotech Ltd on May 12, 2021," the ministry said.

Bharat Biotech will conduct trials in 525 healthy volunteers.

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