Covaxin does not contain newborn calf serum: Centre | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Covaxin does not contain newborn calf serum: Centre

By, New Delhi
Jun 17, 2021 03:54 AM IST

According to the ministry different kinds of bovine and other animal serum are standard enrichment ingredients used globally for vero cell growth.

Bharat Biotech’s vaccine against Covid-19, Covaxin, does not contain newborn calf serum, the Union health ministry clarified in a statement on Wednesday, responding to some posts on social media, moving quickly to address an issue that could have potentially led to vaccine hesitancy among some.

“New born calf serum is used in the manufacturing of viral vaccines. It is used for the growth of cells, but neither used in growth of SARS CoV2 virus nor in the final formulation...” said Bharat Biotech(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
“New born calf serum is used in the manufacturing of viral vaccines. It is used for the growth of cells, but neither used in growth of SARS CoV2 virus nor in the final formulation...” said Bharat Biotech(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

“There have been some social media posts regarding composition of the Covaxin vaccine where it has been suggested that Covaxin vaccine contains newborn calf serum. Facts have been twisted and misrepresented in these posts… the final vaccine does not contain newborn calf serum at all and the calf serum is not an ingredient of the final vaccine product,” read the health ministry statement.

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According to the ministry, newborn calf serum is used only for preparation and growth of vero cells (lineage of cells used for pathogen culture). Different kinds of bovine and other animal serum are standard enrichment ingredients used globally for vero cell growth. Vero cells are used to establish cell lines which help in production of vaccines..., the ministry explained. Dr Gagandeep Kang, physician-scientist, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, said “the explanation holds”. Bharat Biotech also put out a separate statement explaining the process:“New born calf serum is used in the manufacturing of viral vaccines. It is used for the growth of cells, but neither used in growth of SARS CoV2 virus nor in the final formulation...”

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