The Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Indian National Congress (INC) questioned the Central Government over COVAXIN.
The criticism came a day after the Government of India (GoI) said a recipient is not allowed to choose the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine.
The Drug Control General of India (DCGI) approved two made in India vaccines for emergency usage. One is the Serum Institute of India (SII) manufactured Covishield and another one is the Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech International Private Limited made COVAXIN.
These two potential COVID-19 vaccines would be administered on the 16th of January, to 30 crore citizens.
However, participants of the COVID-19 vaccine drive would not be able to choose the vaccine between COVAXIN and Covishield.
In regard to this decision, Manish Tiwari, a MP of the INC said, “Covaxin was licensed by the Government for emergency use. Now the Government is saying that the recipient won’t be able to pick and choose the vaccine which he’s administered to. When phase 3 trials of Covaxin are not complete, it raises various concerns on its efficacy.”
Mr. Tewari said the Central Government should not roll out a vaccine which lacks 100 % efficiency and is under trials. The roll out of COVAXIN should be on hold until the third phase trials are established successfully.
Mr. Tewari addressed the media and raised his doubts. He said, “It (the government) should act in a manner whereby there’s complete confidence in people. You can’t use rollout as phase 3 trial, Indians are not guinea pigs.”
The remark of Mr. Tewari was based on a statement released by Rajesh Bhushan, the Union Health Secretary. Mr. Bhushan on the 12th of January said, “At many places in the world, more than one vaccine is being administered, but presently, in no country, vaccine recipients have the option of choosing the shots.”
“The BJP government has politically misused the COVID-19 pandemic in its entirety. The controversy over the vaccine is its latest manifestation. Who is going to get himself vaccinated with a vaccine that has question marks on its reliability.”
Meanwhile, the Central Government is all set to conduct the world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccine drive. State and union territories (UTs) have made all the necessary arrangements for the huge vaccination drive.
The shipment of both the vaccines, COVAXIN and Covishield has been sent to 11 and 13 cities respectively.
The doses would be given to nearly 30 crore Indians including frontline workers, police officials, health staff, senior citizens and people with comorbidities.
The vaccination drive is all set to kickstart on the 16th of January.
Stay tuned for further updates.