Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday asserted how the indigenous vaccine Covaxin, which was recently approved by India’s drug regulatory body, will protect people from new variants, including the one which first emerged in the United Kingdom and has been spotted in different parts of the world since then.
Vardhan urged politicians not to “discredit well laid out science-backed protocols” that were employed in the process of vaccine approval.
Hitting out at many who are questioning the approval process, Vardhan said it is “disgraceful for anyone to politicise such a critical issue.” Vardhan said the following in a tweet – “…don’t try to discredit well laid out science-backed protocols followed for approving #COVID19vaccines. Wake up & realise you are only discrediting yourselves!”
“COVAXIN is more likely to work against newer variants like N501Y Variant (UK variant) & any other that may arise due to antigenic drift as it contains immunogens (epitopes) from other genes in addition to those from Spike protein”, he added.
ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava further built on the same sentiment claiming Covaxin is based on an inactivated virus, and hence possesses the ability to target mutated strains of coronavirus.
Earlier, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan appealed to people not to be misguided by “rumours” and disinformation campaigns regarding the safety and efficacy of the coronavirus vaccine, stressing that there would be no compromise on any protocol while approving it.
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“I appeal to people not to pay heed to rumours. Ensuring the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is our priority. Different kinds of rumours were spread during polio immunisation but people took the vaccine and India is now polio-free,” Harsh Vardhan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.