Preparations are on to start free vaccination from June 21 in India to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, a debate has erupted over the use of cow’s calf serum to make Covaxin, the corona vaccine of Bharat Biotech Company.
Seeing the controversy surrounding the use of cow’s newborn calf serum in Covaxin, Bharat Biotech issued a clarification. Bharat Biotech, India’s indigenous coronavirus vaccine manufacturer, issued a statement behind these allegations. According to it, the calf serum was used to grow cells, but it was not used in the final formulation of the corona vaccine, Covaxin. The company said that there are no inaccuracies in Covaxin.
The virus, which has been destroyed or neutralized, is eventually used to make the vaccine, the company said. The final covid-19 vaccine does not contain newborn calf serum and is not included in the final vaccine product’s ingredients.
Congress’s National Coordinator Gaurav Pandhi posted a tweet that claimed that cow’s calf serum was used in Covaxin. Pandhi shared a document found in response to an RTI that the serum of a cow calf, which is less than 20 days old, is used to make Covaxin. He claimed that this reply has been given by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) on the RTI of a person named Vikas Patni. Since then the opposition attacked the Indian PM’s Modi government.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Union Health Ministry of India said that the fact that the newborn calf’s serum is present in the indigenously made vaccine on social media has been distorted and improperly presented. The ministry said that the serum of newborn calf is used only for preparation and development of Vero cells. This technology has been used for decades to make vaccines for polio, rabies and influenza.
On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party took a dig at the Congress and targeted it. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said during the press conference on Wednesday that the Congress has committed a ‘great sin’ by making such an allegation.