The Congress leader said Covaxin has been allowed to be used without the mandatory Phase 3 trials even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India's Covid-19 vaccination drive today
In the backdrop of the coronavirus vaccine rollout in India, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari on Saturday raised questions over the emergency use approval given to the indigenously developed vaccine Covaxin and alleged that it was "sans due process".
The Congress leader said Covaxin has been allowed to be used without the mandatory Phase 3 trials even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India's Covid-19 vaccination drive today.
"If the vaccine is so safe and reliable and 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?" the Congress MP asked.
"Many eminent doctors have raised questions with regard to the efficacy and safety of COVAXIN with govt saying that people will not be able to choose as to which vaccine they would like to take. This goes against the entire doctrine of informed consent," Tewari said.
"As vaccine roll out begins, it is all a bit puzzling India has no policy framework for authorising emergency use. Yet, two vaccines have been approved for restricted use in emergency situation," Tewari said in a tweet just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the vaccination drive.
"COVAXIN is another story -- Approvals sans Due Process," the former Union minister added, tagging a media report which claimed scientists and doctors are divided on the issue of restricted use approval granted to the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
India recently granted two vaccines -- Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin -- approval on restricted emergency use.
Earlier, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh and Shashi Tharoor had also raised concerns over India's drugs regulator's nod to restricted use of Bharat Biotech''s COVID-19 vaccine.
However, there were different voices within the party as its chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had lauded scientists and researchers of Bharat Biotech for the indigenous vaccine.
The BJP, in response, to the criticism by some Congress leaders had hit out at the Congress with party president J P Nadda alleging that whenever India achieves something commendable the opposition party comes up with "wild theories" to "ridicule" the accomplishments.
With agency inputs
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