The opposition in India might not be the sharpest tool in the shed but it sure does know how to create divisiveness and falseness amongst the public. The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent rollout of the vaccine saw the same opposition casting aspersions over the efficacy of the vaccines, especially the indigenously developed Covaxin, with some going as far as terming it as a BJP vaccine.
On Wednesday, Bharat Biotech chairman Krishna Ella whilst speaking at Times Now Summit, here in the capital city remarked that it was not about the process but the WHO might have got influenced by a lot of what was said by negativists in the country about the vaccine.
Ella said, “They (WHO) wanted to be doubly sure of what they were doing. So, they wanted to review much more intensely. Every small issue became a major issue for them,”
He further added, “We are the only vaccine in the WHO that has gone through so much scrutiny which other vaccines have not gone through. But it’s good that in the end, we won the game,”
Duplicity of WHO
Reported extensively by TFI, WHO had claimed that it did not want to cut corners to give authorization to any ‘domestically developed vaccine’. However, the sermon by WHO was sanctimonious hogwash at best as it had granted emergency approval to the Chinese vaccine ‘Sinopharm’ in record 10 days after holding an ornamental meeting.
The decision to approve Sinopharm’s vaccine was taken by WHO’s technical advisory group, which met on April 26 to review the clinical data and manufacturing practices of the vaccine. By May 7, it was announced that Sinopharm had been approved. Compare that to the approval process of Covaxin and one can understand where WHO’s allegiances lie.
However, as Dr Ella pointed out, while WHO owing to its partisan nature delayed the approval process – the health body was ably helped by the pessimistic people, here in the country who did all they could to create an anti-vaccine population.
Indian leaders fuelling negativity regarding vaccines
Akhilesh Yadav — the leader of the Samajwadi Party and former CM of Uttar Pradesh in January, earlier this year called Bharat Biotech’s vaccine ‘BJP vaccine’ and said that he will not get a jab. “I am not going to get vaccinated for now. How can I trust BJP’s vaccine, when our government will be formed everyone will get free vaccine. We cannot take BJP’s vaccine,”
[1/n] – Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party)
“It's BJP's vaccine, not taking the shot”: Akhilesh Yadav (Jan 3, 2021) pic.twitter.com/ETpo8X2GsU
— Yo Yo Funny Singh 🇮🇳 (@moronhumor) April 30, 2021
TS Singh Deo, the health minister of Chhattisgarh argued that the government should have waited for a few more weeks to approve and outrightly rejected the use of Covaxin.
He had remarked, “We do not support the use of #COVAXIN in the vaccination process in Chhattisgarh for one simple reason – It is NOT SAFE to use any vaccine unless it has completed the recommended testing process with absolute authentication and success,”
We do not support the use of #COVAXIN in the vaccination process in Chhattisgarh for one simple reason – It is NOT SAFE to use any vaccine unless it has completed the recommended testing process with absolute authentication and success. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/Y2yN3sS953
— T S Singhdeo (@TS_SinghDeo) January 10, 2021
Then came Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of the Bajaj group who still apparently lives in the glory of UPA license raj. From raising questions over national lockdown during the first wave to promoting vaccine hesitancy, Bajaj, throughout the pandemic has done all in his might to spread misinformation against the masses.
In an interview with Sreenivasan Jain of NDTV, Mr Bajaj mind-numbingly remarked, “Adar Poonawalla is a friend and I admire him for what he is doing.. but between being for or against the vaccine, a middle path – do the risks outweigh the benefits? For someone like me, I believe they do,”
#NDTVExclusive | “Adar Poonawalla is a friend and I admire him for what he is doing.. but between being for or against the vaccine, a middle path – do the risks outweigh the benefits? For someone like me, I believe they do,” says Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto#ExecutiveDecision pic.twitter.com/Kq4EYf8cq4
— NDTV (@ndtv) February 5, 2021
Prashant Bhushan and his hocus pocus science
Prashant Bhushan, the ‘PIL-jeevi‘ of India has been one of the biggest promoters of vaccine hesitancy across the country. Bhushan, who is regarded as an idol of few in the left-liberal brigade showed his complete intellectual bankruptcy during the pandemic.
Tweeting an unsubstantiated news clipping in which a person claimed that vaccine killed his wife, Bhushan said, “A lot of people including friends & family have accused me of promoting Vaccine hesitancy, let me clarify my position. I am not anti Vaccine per se. But I believe it is irresponsible to promote universal vaccination of experimental&untested vaccines esp to young & Covid recovered,”
A lot of people including friends & family have accused me of promoting Vaccine hesitancy, let me clarify my position.
I am not anti Vaccine per se. But I believe it is irresponsible to promote universal vaccination of experimental&untested vaccines esp to young & Covid recovered https://t.co/SVHwgyZcvU
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) June 28, 2021
Previously a tweet by Bhushan was removed by Twitter because he asked the people to not wear masks as according to him, they are not effective. “The data suggest that facemasks are ineffective to block transmission of viral and infectious disease such as COVID-19. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects,” tweeted Bhushan, urging them to “read this detailed study on masks”.
Congress employed on the payroll of our enemies
It was Congress leaders like Anand Sharma, Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh that raised serious hell when the government had granted emergency use of the two vaccines in India. Showing a colonial mindset, the dud Congress leaders started attacking the Indian company, Bharat Biotech, as its phase-3 results were not announced.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had tweeted, “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.”
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
Similarly, thesaurus Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “India actually has a good reputation in the vaccine world, both as a producer(60% of the world’s vaccines) &as a consumer (the success of the polio & smallpox vaccination campaigns). This unseemly haste risks jeopardising both, especially if Covaxin turns out to be ineffective.”
1/2 India actually has a good reputation in the vaccine world, both as a producer(60% of the world's vaccines) &as a consumer (the success of the polio&smallpox vaccination campaigns). This unseemly haste risks jeopardising both, especially if Covaxin turns out to be ineffective.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 4, 2021
The negative Nancy in Shashi Tharoor came out in full glory when he remarked, “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.”
The government, at the time of rollout, had specifically announced that the phase-3 trial results will be coming out by the end of February or early March and that Covaxin was for emergency purposes only. But the Congress leaders wanted to encash on the opportunity to create an environment of paranoia and they did succeed somewhat in doing that.
And when the phase-3 results did come out and the vaccine showed 81 per cent efficacy in late-stage clinical trials – all the Congress leaders were nowhere to be found. And when the party high command took the vaccine, not a word was uttered by the same leaders, further depicting their hypocrisy.
The likes of Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh were not concerned with the health of the public, no. All they wanted was to besmirch the name of the government by making a false accusation and innocently planting the idea in public that the vaccine was another PR stunt by the NDA government.
NDTV and its ilk doing what it does best
It wasn’t the opposition leaders only that tried to disparage the vaccine. As reported by TFI, it was NDTV and its Harvard alumni journalists were also leading the charge of creating an environment of psychosis when it dedicated a full section on its airtime to highlight the one or two odd cases that prop up whenever someone took a vaccine.
And even in one of the cases where the reporter talked to a patient, he accepted he had forgotten to take his blood pressure medicine in the morning, before taking the vaccine.
NDTV has posted video with title
"Corona Vaccine लगवाने के बाद स्वास्थ्य कर्मी की बिगड़ी तबीयत"
In the video, the man says (in Hindi) : I had forgotten to take my blood pressure medicine, so I felt uneasy and got admitted. Everyone should take the vaccine.
Cheer up, NDTV!
— Abhishek (@AbhishBanerj) January 17, 2021
While the opposition and media tried their best to create an anti-vaccine environment, the government kept its head down and steadily rolled out the jabs. Entire India owes a tremendous debt to Bharat Biotech and Serum Insititute of India. Despite the kind of campaign the fake liberals of the country orchestrated, a majority of us want to thank the two companies for their service.