It is regrettable that opposition leaders have encouraged the campaign against the Covid-19 vaccine. Instead of allaying fears and fighting superstition, they are spreading doubts about the worthiness of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. As it is, all sorts of rumours about the vaccine causing impotence and/or sterilisation or containing fragments of pig meat, etc., are being spread among the Muslims.
On top of it, two otherwise educated leaders of the Congress Party questioning the considered decision of the Drugs Controller General of India to approve Covaxin as a back-up to the Serum Institute of India’s Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine fans public distrust of the scientifically researched and tested antidote to the pandemic.
No doubt, the normal process of development and trials of all corona vaccines globally was compressed to address the urgency to find a counter to the raging virus. But at least in the case of the vaccines coming out of the democratic countries, that process was transparent and completely above-board.
In the case of the Bharat Biotech vaccine, both its scientific head and the DCGI head are on record that the relevant trial data required for its approval was duly vetted, and will soon be made public for examination by the wider medical community. The matter should have rested there. But the discordant note struck by the opposition leaders undermined faith in modern science.