‘Give me one week’s time’: Bharat Biotech chief on questions about Covaxin efficacy
Amid concerns over the relatively less amount of data on the efficacy and safety of Covaxin, developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, the company’s managing director Krishna Ella said on Monday that the company’s vaccine is safe and the company is conducting trials in more than 12 countries apart from India. “We are not a company without experience in vaccines. We have tremendous experience in vaccines,” ANI quoted Ella as saying.
“We are touching 123 countries. We are the only company that has got such extensive experience & extensive publication in review journals,” he also said.
“We are not just conducting clinical trials in India. We have done clinical trials more than 12 countries including the UK. We are doing clinical trials in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh & other countries. We are not just an Indian company, we are truly a global company,” Ella also said.
Asked if the vaccine will be effective on new strain of the virus, Ella said, “Give me one week’s time, I will give you confirmed data.”
The government recently approved emergency authorisation use of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield. The government has also cleared Bharat Biotech International Limited’s locally-developed vaccine for “restricted use in emergency situation” triggering a debate among experts over the approval despite the shorter duration of human trials and relatively less data.
Meanwhile, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Dr Balram Bhargava had said on Sunday that Covaxin is based on an inactivated whole virus, having potential to target mutated coronavirus strains including the UK variant, and it was a major reason for giving it a conditional nod.
Speaking on the controversy around the vaccine, Ella said, “Now that vaccine is being politicised, I want to state very clearly that none of my family members are associated with any political party.”
“Approval of Covaxin for emergency use is a giant leap for innovation and novel product development in India. It is a proud moment for the nation and a great milestone in India’s scientific capability, a kickstart to the innovation ecosystem in India,” Ella also said.