Covaxin is 200% safe, says Bharat Biotech chief

Amid apprehensions about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, the chairman of Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech said Covaxin has shown less than 10 per cent adverse reactions, while others have shown 60-70 per cent adverse reactions.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  4 Jan 2021 2:41 PM GMT
Covaxin is 200% safe, says Bharat Biotech chief

Hyderabad: Amid apprehensions about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, the chairman of Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech said Covaxin has shown less than 10 per cent adverse reactions, while others have shown 60-70 per cent adverse reactions.

Dr. Krishna Ella, while addressing a virtual press conference on 4 December, claimed that AstraZeneca was giving 4g paracetamol to volunteers to suppress adverse reactions to their vaccine while Bharat Biotech was not giving its volunteers paracetamol. "I can assure you that our vaccine is 200 per cent safe," he added.

Bharat Biotech's clinical trials are "200 per cent honest" and the company has an established track record in producing safe and efficacious vaccines, he further said, adding it was transparent with all its data.

"Many people say that I am not transparent with my data. I think people should have the patience to read on the Internet and see how many articles we have published. More than 70 articles have been published in various international journals," he said.

He also added that the company will roll out the vaccine as early as possible. Batches have already been sent to the Kasauli government testing lab.

On comments that Covaxin is a 'back-up vaccine', Dr. Ella said, "It is a vaccine. It is not a back-up. People should be responsible before making such statements."

Stating that Bharat Biotech is a global company, he said, "Don't accuse us of inexperience. We are a global company and have manufactured 16 vaccines. It is not correct to say we are not transparent with our data. We conduct clinical trials in many countries, including the UK. The point is, we are not an Indian company but a global one."

He further claimed that the company was the first to identify the Zika virus and the first to file a global patent for the Zika vaccine and the Chikungunya vaccine. "We have the only BSL-3 (bio-safety level 3) production facility in the world. Even the US doesn't have one. We are here to help during public health emergencies in any part of the world," he said.

On Sunday, the Drug Controller General of India had granted emergency approval to two COVID-19 vaccines - Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and AstraZeneca-Oxford University's Covishield.

The decision to green-light Covaxin had triggered a row, with critics pointing to a lack of efficacy data at this time. Covaxin has completed only two of the three required trial phases. The third phase - which tests the efficacy - began in November. The two earlier phases only ensured that the drug is safe.


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