Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech has clarified that Covaxin undergoes 200 quality control tests before distribution takes place. The indigenous vaccine samples are submitted to the Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) and only after its approval are they sent for commercial distribution. The statement comes in the wake of doubts regarding the quality concerns of the vaccine. The Chief of National Immunization and Technical Advisory Group, Dr NK Arora, said in an interview that the initial batches of Covaxin produced at the company's Bengaluru plant were not satisfactory.
Rumours Would Lead To Vaccine Hesitancy
The cief was talking about the delay in the stock of vaccines by Bharat Biotech in the interview. His statement was misinterpreted but was later clarified. Bharat Biotech also issued a statement that the defective the stock was never released for commercial purposes. The company said that such misleading narratives would lead to vaccine hesitancy and should be avoided at all costs. Hindustan Times quoted the vaccine maker as saying, "As of date, all batches of Covaxin are manufactured and released only from our manufacturing facilities at Genome Valley Hyderabad, which are fully audited and approved by regulatory authorities; hence we wish to put to rest any concerns on the quality of Covaxin".
Hesitancy Amongst Health Workers
Previously, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had repeatedly emphasised the efficacy of Covaxin against Delta and Delta Plus variants. The government had given emergency use authorisation to the Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. However, the latter had not even cleared the Phase 3 trials when it was approved. This hasty approval led to hesitancy amongst health workers for getting jabbed. Medical professionals also raised concerns about not being provided enough information about the safety and effectiveness, and the vaccines were being rolled out without adequate trials. Apart from that, several misleading posts went viral on social media about exaggerated side effects that fueled the fear of the vaccine amongst health workers and the general public.