Group led by EX-AIIMS director slams people for doubting Covid vaccine
New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) A group of 49 doctors, scientists and medical professionals, led by former AIIMS director Tirath Das Dogra, have come forward in support of the homemade Covid-19 vaccines and slammed those casting aspersions on their efficacy.
"We condemn the irresponsible statements made by people with vested interests in print, electronic and social media defaming the Indian scientific community and casting aspersions upon its integrity by making politicised statements doubting the recent research in the field of Covid-19 vaccines," said the statement issued by Dogra.
"Though the efficacy data is not available, the safety parameters of Covaxin are very good and there is a robust immune response seen with this vaccine. Further, this vaccine is a whole virus inactivated vaccine which may have better protection even against mutant strains of the virus as the immune response will be against multiple antigens and not only against Spike protein," it added.
Dogra said that such reprehensible utterances are causing huge credibility crisis for the Indian scientific community which has devoted its lifetime to make India a name to reckon with in the export of vaccines all over the world.
Many political leaders, including those from the Congress, have said that the government should not have allowed the use of Covaxin without conducting Pahse 3 trials.
But the former AIIMS director said that there is a vision to make India a global leader in the field of scientific research.
"Due to our untiring efforts, India has emerged a global leader in supply of vaccines to the world. Vaccines are exported from India to over 188 countries. Currently, more than two thirds of the total volume of the vaccines manufactured is exported while the rest is utilised domestically. The Indian vaccine market reached a value of Rs 94 billion in 2019, and has still got unused potential for the future," the statement said.
It further said that the DGCI has granted the approval after a subject expert committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) recommended the two vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) for emergency use in India. Covishield was recommended for emergency use on January 1, whereas Covaxin was recommended for restricted use on January 2.
Though Covishield still needs data from India on immunogenicity and efficacy, it has been given emergency use authorisation keeping in mind the difficult times caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.