Safety Concerns Raised Over Covaxin Vaccine in India

India’s Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan launching the COVID India Seva on April 21, 2020. Photo: GoI (file photo)
India’s Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan launching the COVID India Seva on April 21, 2020. Photo: GoI (file photo)

The world leaders must advise the Modi government to release auditable Covid data so that the flow of infection from India to other countries could be stopped.

By Rakesh Raman

As people have been raising serious doubts about Covid-19 vaccines and vaccination, now the Chhattisgarh state in India has complained about the vaccines being delivered by the Indian government.

Chhattisgarh health minister TS Singh Deo has written a letter to India’s health minister Harsh Vardhan to explain the safety concerns of the vaccines. In his letter of January 11, Deo has publicly expressed his government’s concerns about Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

In his tweet along with the letter that he sent to Harsh Vardhan, Deo stated Chhattisgarh government’s inhibitions regarding the incomplete third phase trials of the vaccine and the absence of expiration date on the vials.

“Wrote to union minister of health @drharshvardhan ji addressing the concern of Chhattisgarh govt regarding the supply of Covaxin to the state. The primary concerns of the state are: The inhibitions regarding the incomplete 3rd phase trials of Covaxin and the absence of expiration date on the vials of the vaccine. I have requested him to halt the supply of Covaxin to Chhattisgarh until these issues are addressed to the satisfaction of our Health Department to avoid the wastage of the early expiration doses of the drug,” Deo said in his tweet.

According to reports, Harsh Vardhan has given an explanation about the concerns raised by the Chhattisgarh minister. However, Deo has requested the Central government to halt the supply of Covaxin to Chhattisgarh until these issues are addressed.

It is largely being seen that the Indian government is not revealing the reliable data about the Covid-19 infections, deaths, and vaccines. The citizens have to mostly rely on the political rhetoric of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi who often appears on TV like a demigod to brag about his achievements, which cannot be verified.

Modi is neither releasing the true coronavirus data nor the details of a secret Covid fund that he had floated to collect public money to deal with the Covid crisis. People are urging Modi to make the details of PM-CARES Fund public, but his office has refused to entertain public requests about the transparency of the Fund.

While other leaders such as the U.S. President Joe Biden received Covid vaccine on live TV to instill confidence among Americans about the safety of vaccines, Modi must also take the vaccine publicly instead of delivering baseless sermons about the virus.

Since Modi is an illiterate man, he cannot speak properly in interactive discussions. That’s why he has not held even a single press conference about coronavirus or any other issue during the past over 6 years of his rule. This is one of the reasons that most educated people do not trust Modi and his claims.

Although India officially reports only about 10 million Covid infections, the latest national sero-survey released by the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) in February 2021 reveals that over 21% or 250 million Indians aged above 10 had coronavirus.

Under these precarious circumstances, the world leaders must advise the Modi government to release auditable Covid data so that the flow of infection from India to other countries could be stopped.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

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