Health experts ‘shocked’ as Indian authorities grant emergency approval to local vaccine

eAwaz Medicine

New Delhi – The All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN), an independent watchdog, said it was “shocked” and “baffled” by the emergency approval of local vaccine. India has been hit hard by the virus, logging the second-highest number of Covid-19 infections globally with more than 10.5 million cases, and over 150,000 deaths, behind only the United States and Brazil. Covaxin, is developed in India by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research. Authorities have stated without releasing supporting data that Covaxin might work better against new Covid-19 strains than other vaccines that use different technologies.
According to an interview given by Prabir Chatterjee, a community medicine specialist in West Bengal, to the AFP the lack of data was causing “a lot of upset among doctors and very senior doctors and scientists. I would guess that the Bharat Biotech vaccine, after it has been evaluated, may be the best, the cheapest and the most practical for developing countries. But I don’t think we should jumpstart the process by using it before it has been proved.” Not only main opposition party Congress condemned it, health minister of Chhattisgarh, also called that vaccine “not safe.” But the BJP government says the vaccine is 110 per cent safe. Privately owned Bharat Biotech, set up in 1996 by husband and wife Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella, is an established player in inoculations.