India has given approval to three vaccines — Covishield developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with India-based Serum Institute, Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Virus-2019-nCov-Vaccine by Cadila Healthcare.
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tej Pratap Yadav. (PTI)
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tej Pratap Yadav on Friday joined the league of those apprehensive about the safety of Covid-19 vaccines expected to be rolled out by the end of this month. On a question whether he will take the vaccine, the RJD leader said that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes the first shot, he will take it as well. India has given approval to three vaccines — Covishield developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with India-based Serum Institute, Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Virus-2019-nCov-Vaccine by Cadila Healthcare.
However, approval to Bharat Biotech had triggered a massive controversy as the data on third phase trial efficacy was still awaited. The Opposition parties and a section of experts questioned the government, and accused it of risking people’s lives just to show the world that it has a vaccine fully developed in India by an Indian company.
Former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was the first to question the safety of the vaccine. He also announced that he will not take the vaccine developed by “BJP government”, prompting sharp reactions from the saffron party leaders.
On Tuesday, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari targeted the Centre saying it has politically misused the Covid-19 pandemic in its entirety. The controversy over the vaccine, he said, was its latest manifestation. “Who is going to get himself vaccinated with a vaccine (Covaxin by Bharat Biotech) that has question marks on its reliability,” the former minister said.
Tewari further said that the central government had done a great disservice to that company which must have invested crores of rupees in research and development. “In their quest to prove their ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ they have licensed a vaccine (Covaxin) whose phase-III trials are not complete,” Tewari said in an apparent reference to Bharat Biotech.