'Obviously': Minister on whether beneficiaries were aware of Covaxin fine print
Defying detractors on social media who are raising questions over the transparency of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin as the company released a fact sheet after the emergency vaccination drive began in the country, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday took to social media and said it was quite obvious that beneficiaries were made aware of all the conditions. Thinking that they were not made aware, on the contrary, is as "naive and presumptuous as boorish", the minister wrote on her Twitter handle answering to a question.
"It's OBVIOUS, Govt advisory shared on social media is made available at ground level first," the health minister wrote.
On January 3, the Drug Control General of India gave emergency-use authorisation to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Serum Institute of India's Covishield. The nod for Covaxin was in clinical mode trial wich specified that beneficiaries will have to sign a consent form before vaccination and they will also be monitored.
The Centre sent a detailed fact sheet of both the vaccines to all states. The consent form for Covaxin also became public on January 16, the day the vaccination drive began in India.
On January 19, Bharat Biotech on its website uploaded a fact sheet which says if a person has allergies, fever or bleeding disorder or in on a blood thinner, then it is not advisable for him or her to take the vaccine. Pregnant, lactating women, people suffering from immuno-compromised situation are also advised to take the vaccine.
This led to another battle of barbs with several opposition leaders questioning whether the beneficiaries were aware of these terms and conditions.
Terming this as fear-mongering and spreading misinformation, the health minister had slammed these "over-reactions" and clarified that these facts have been in the public domain. On Wednesday, he reiterated that by public domain, he doesn't mean social media. All information were made available at ground level first, the minister said.
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