How can an Indian vaccine be cleared for usage domestically without the ‘gora’ stamping authority over it? How has India approved two COVID-19 vaccines simultaneously, even as Western countries, presumably far more ‘developed’ than us, continue to struggle with the pandemic? Why was an Indian vaccine by Bharat Biotech authorised for restricted emergency use without it completing stage III human trials involving 24,000 volunteers?
These are all questions which have been asked since Sunday by a section of Indians who are light years away from basic scientific knowledge and literacy. The same people, who seem to have no scientific acumen, leave alone any biochemical knowledge, are the same specimens who have not been able to overcome the hangover of colonialism.
Years of subjugation and foreign rule has corrupted the minds of many in India, to the extent that they are devoted slaves of the Western world, not to mention tremendous doubters of their own country’s capabilities in 2021. Seventy-four years of independence have not been able to wipe out memories of foreign rule, and colonialism has been passed down generations to some Indians. The same sense of cultural and civilisational inferiority is presently dictating some people to turn anti-vaccine crusaders, much like the clowns in the western world who make a living out of their anti-vaccine activism.
कोरोना वैक्सीन से नपुंसक बनाने की कोशिश हो सकती है : समाजवादी पार्टी MLC आशुतोष सिन्हा#CoronaVaccine #AkhileshYadav pic.twitter.com/1sg4EDf8st
— News24 (@news24tvchannel) January 2, 2021
Bharat Biotech is a first-rate enterprise, but it is puzzling that internationally-accepted protocols relating to phase 3 trials are being modified for Covaxin. Health Minister @drharshvardhan should clarify. pic.twitter.com/5HAWZtmW9s
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) January 3, 2021
2/2 (Worse, if it turns out to be unsafe). But it is typical of a govt that prefers slogans over substance. Chest-thumping 'vaccine nationalism', combined with the PM's "atmanirbhar Bharat" campaign, has trumped common sense and a generation of established scientific protocols.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 4, 2021
The prime target of newly turned anti-vaccine activists in India is Covaxin – developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The reasons behind the apprehensions of many are simple – how can Covaxin be cleared for emergency use in the country without it completing Phase III trials? Further, without Phase III data, such clowns believe that inoculating Indians with Bharat Biotech’s vaccine would amount to the Indian state playing with their lives. Well, here’s a fact for such unadulterated fools who think Covaxin is ‘unsafe’.
Covaxin is absolutely safe. The jab has cleared Phase I and II trials with flying colours, and it is in these two trials that the ‘safety’ of a vaccine is ascertained. In Phase III trials, researchers get a clearer picture of how ‘efficacious’ a vaccine is among a considerable section of the volunteers, half of whom are given a dud placebo. The phase III trials of Covaxinare in the final stages and results will be out by late January or early February. Subsequently, we will get to know the actual effectiveness of the jab. Mind you, the researchers and regulators, in the know of classified data, have a fairly good idea about the vaccine’s effectiveness already but are not citing the same due to the clinical trials still going on.
So, what are the hue and cry about? Why are people with no scientific background assuming the sole authority of being concerned citizens, and casting aspersions on the ability of Covaxin to immunise people against COVID-19? The answer, here too, is simple. Covaxin, according to those in the know, is a much better and highly reliable candidate which is well poised to work against all immediately possible mutations of the virus strain, as according to ICMR Chief Balram Bhargava, Bharat Biotech’s candidate is a “whole virus” vaccine.
Bharat Biotech’s Chairman, Dr Krishna Ella hit the nail on the head when he said that the Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer was not just an India company, but a global one. “Don’t accuse us of inexperience. We are a global company… have manufactured 16 vaccines. It is not correct to say we are not transparent with 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 stressed.
To the same effect, The Brazilian Association of Vaccine Clinics (ABCVAC) confirmed on its website that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Bharat Biotech to purchase its Covaxin vaccine, further cementing assertions that the jab is being anticipated as a game-changer in the fight against Covid-19 globally.
The Brazilian association is looking to purchase no less than 5 million shots from Bharat Biotech. Similarly, Covaxin is being eyed by many countries and private players across the world. This should have settled the matter for semi-literate individuals doubting the vaccine’s ability to fight the virus, but of course, they are incredibly invested in sucking up to the West.
India taking the lead in global vaccine development and production is something which many are not being able to digest, courtesy an unparalleled inferiority complex prevalent among them. Additionally, such successful vaccine development is occurring under a BJP rule in the country only adds to their heartburn.
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