New Delhi: Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) Dr V G Somani along with Principal Director General of Press Information Bureau K S Dhatwalia (R) during a press conference to announce the approval of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, in New Delhi, Sunday, Jan. 03, 2021.
New Delhi: Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) Dr V G Somani along with Principal Director General of Press Information Bureau K S Dhatwalia (R) during a press conference to announce the approval of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, in New Delhi, Sunday, Jan. 03, 2021.
(PTI Photo)

New Delhi: As India gears up for the world's largest vaccination programme, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Sunday quelled rumours surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines regarding impotency, rubbishing such speculations as "complete nonsense".

"We will never approve anything if there is even the slightest safety concern. Vaccines are 110 per cent safe. Some side effects like mild fever, pain and allergy are common for every vaccine. It (rumours of impotency) is complete nonsense," VG Somani, Drug Controller General of India said.

When asked if people would face side effects after taking the vaccine, the DCGI said, "Yes, minor side effects will be there, including a little like pain in the shoulders, a slight fever, little allergies. This occurs in every vaccine but of-course, the vaccine is 110 per cent safe." Meanwhile, he said, 'It (the vaccines) are very safe don't worry' in his interaction.

Earlier on Saturday, Samajwadi Party chief and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav had said, "COVID-19 vaccine might contain something, which can cause harm. Tomorrow, people will say the vaccine was given to kill or decrease the population. You can even become impotent, anything can happen." Earlier today, COVID-19 vaccines of Serum Institue of India and Bharat Biotech have been granted permission for restricted use in an emergency situation, said Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

"After adequate examination, CDSCO has decided to accept the recommendations of the Expert Committee and accordingly, vaccines of M/s Serum and M/s Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situation and permission is being granted to M/s Cadila Healthcare for conduct of the Phase III clinical trial," said VG Somani, DCGI, during a media briefing today.

On December 31, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged people to be careful regarding rumours about vaccines and as responsible citizens refrain from forwarding messages on social media without checking.

"The number of new cases of COVID-19 is decreasing in the country now. We are preparing to run the world's largest vaccination programme in the next year. In our country, rumours spread quickly. Different people for their personal gains or due to irresponsible behaviour spread various rumours. Maybe rumours will be spread when vaccination begins, some have already begun," Prime Minister Modi had said.

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