As the government gears up for the Covid vaccination drive targeting health care and frontline workers, the Congress cautions the government that since the 'Covaxin' vaccine has not completed phase-3 trials, it should not be rolled out as Indians are not "guinea pigs".
Congress leader Manish Tewari said, “The government should not roll out vaccines till their efficacy is completely established and mandatory phase-3 trials are over, as Indians are not ‘guinea pigs’.”
His objections are over ‘Covaxin’ which has been approved for emergency use but has not completed phase-3 trials to prove its reliability. The Congress leader said that the government is not giving a choice to the people.
Tewari tweeted: “Till yesterday NDA/BJP claimed Covaxin has been cleared for emergency use. Today by not allowing recipients to pick vaccine of his choice is NDA/BJP making guinea pigs out of Indians @drharshvardhan. Is roll out THE REAL Phase-3 Trial of Covaxin?”
The first consignment of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin landed in Delhi from Hyderabad on Wednesday. Bharat Biotech aims to dispatch around 55 lakh vaccines to 11 cities in the initial phase, including Delhi, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Chennai and Jaipur.
In Delhi, the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH) would receive 20,000 doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covid vaccine from a consignment which landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here on Wednesday morning, officials said.
The RGSSH has already received 2.64 lakh doses of the ‘Covishield’ vaccine on Tuesday. The hospital has received 22 boxes consisting of 26,400 vials of ‘Covishield’, the Covid vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
Meanwhile, with 15,968 new coronavirus infections reported in the last 24 hours, India continued its streak of low cases, with overall tally mounting to 1,04,95,147, officials said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, India recorded 12,584 new cases, lowest single-day figure in over seven months. Before this, the lowest number was recorded on June 18 last year, when India reported 12,881 fresh Covid cases in a day.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said 202 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours taking the death toll to 1,51,529. Since the last 19 days, less than 300 new deaths per day have been recorded in the country.
As per the Ministry data, till now, 1,01,29,111 people have recovered. Currently, there are 2,14,507 active cases. About 43.96 per cent of patients with active infection are in healthcare facilities, while the rest are in home isolation.
The recovery rate stands at 96.51 per cent while the fatality rate is 1.44 as per cent.
The total number of samples tested up to January 12 were 18,34,89,114 including 8,36,227 samples tested on Tuesday, the Indian Council of Medical Research said.
About 70 per cent of the daily new cases are reported from seven states — Kerala, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
Meanwhile, the most-awaited mass vaccination drive is slated to begin from January 16, with approval of two vaccines. The Central government plans to vaccinate nearly three crore people in the first phase of the drive.
The vaccine will be offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with two crore frontline and essential workers, 26 crore people above the age of 50 and one crore below 50 with comorbidities.
The Union Health Ministry has said that 1.1 crore ‘Covishield’ and 55 lakh ‘Covaxin’ doses have been procured at the cost of Rs 200 and Rs 206 per dose, respectively. (IANS)