New Delhi, January 16 : As the nationwide vaccination drive commenced on Saturday, Congress Member of Parliament Manish Tewari raised questions on the efficacy and safety of both COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use in the country.
"There are disturbing questions that the government has tried to obfuscate under the soaring rhetoric of vaccine nationalism. The first question is in the absence of legal architecture or policy architecture for certifying drugs and vaccines for emergency use, it is still not clear under what legal sanction have these two vaccines been licensed for emergency use," Tiwari told ANI. He asked if a vaccine that is going to be used for mass immunisation programme, how can it be called an emergency use vaccination?
"We understand that there is COVID-19 pandemic but can the vaccines be used under the rubric of emergency use?" he asked.
Further questioning the validity of Bharat Biotech's vaccine, the Congress MP said use of COVAXIN goes against the entire doctrine of informed consent.
"Many eminent doctors have raised questions with regard to the efficacy and safety of COVAXIN with government saying that people will not be able to choose as to which vaccine they would like to take. This goes against the entire doctrine of informed consent," he stated.
The nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched by Prime Minister Narendra on Saturday. Termed as the world's largest vaccination programme, covering the entire length and breadth of India, the drive aims to first vaccinate millions of its healthcare and frontline workers and then reach an estimated 3 crore people by the end of its first phase.
In the first phase, government and private-sector health care workers, including Integrated Child Development Services workers, will receive the vaccine. (ANI)