‘If vaccine is reliable, why no govt functionary took the shot’: Congress' Manish Tewari
Congress leader Manish Tewari once again attacked the Centre on Saturday over the vaccines against the coronavirus disease, saying they were being allowed to be used without the mandatory Phase 3 trials even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive.
PM Modi launched India's vaccination drive, one of the world's biggest inoculation programmes, aimed at inoculating 30 million health care and frontline workers in the first phase. Two shots manufactured in India, one developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, and the other by Bharat Biotech, are being administered during the drive.
"Many eminent doctors have raised questions with regard to the efficacy and safety of Covaxin with the government saying that people will not be able to choose as to which vaccine they would like to take. This goes against the entire doctrine of informed consent," Tewari said according to news agency ANI.
The member of Parliament from Anandpur Sahib also questioned the reason behind government functionaries not taking the Covid-19 vaccine. “If the vaccine is so safe and reliable and the efficacy of the vaccine is beyond question then how is it that not a single functionary of the government has stepped forward to get themselves vaccinated as it has happened in other countries around the world?” Tewari asked.
This is not the first time the opposition has questioned the Centre over the Covid-19 vaccine. A day after the government said that a recipient cannot choose the Covid-19 vaccine they want to be administered with, Tewari had raised doubts over the efficacy of the indigenously-developed Covaxin.
“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,” Tewari had told news agency ANI.
As the Prime Minister launched the vaccination drive, he emphasised that “only when our scientists were assured of the power of vaccine, they gave permission for emergency use”, asking people not to pay heed to speculations about the efficacy of the shots. “We have credibility. We have earned this credibility from our track record. India produces 60% of vaccines given to children in the world. Our vaccines are made in tried and tested methods. They will give defining victory in the war against Covid,” PM Modi said in his address to the nation.
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- The kin of the deceased have been given an instant relief amount of ₹25,000 and the body has been sent for post-mortem.
- “I want the Congress party to be strong. I want the Congress to unite and fight the divisive forces," he said.