New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav on Friday said that he will take the the COVID-19 vaccine only after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gets inoculated first. Casting doubt on the two vaccine candidates approved by the Health Ministry, Yadav said: "Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take first shot of COVID19 vaccine, then, we will also take it."

Several Opposition leaders have been questioning the authenticity of the two vaccines approved by the government. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had last Saturday said that he won’t take “BJP’s vaccine” and that “BJP (people) should get vaccinated first”.

Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Shashi Tharoor too doubted the approval given to Bharat Biotech’s vaccine while its third phase trial is going on.

Ramesh on Twitter claimed that though Bharat Biotech is a first-rate enterprise, internationally accepted protocols relating to phase three trials are being modified for Covaxin.

In the same strain, Tharoor claimed that the approval to Bharat Biotech was premature. “The Covaxin has not yet had Phase 3 trials. Approval was premature and could be dangerous. @drharshvardhan should please clarify. Its use should be avoided till full trials are over. India can start with the AstraZeneca vaccine in the meantime,” Tharoor said.   

The BJP said that statements by COVID-19 vaccine sceptics among Opposition leaders were playing into the hands of vested interests and demonstrated that the Opposition refused to be proud of "anything Indian".

The country's drugs regulator on Sunday approved Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.

The Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, has tied up with AstraZeneca to manufacture Covishield, while Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The Health Ministry on Tuesday said it is prepared for COVID-19 vaccine roll-out within ten days of the vaccines getting approved for restricted emergency use on January 3, but a final decision on the launch date would be taken by the government.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta