BJP lawmaker takes part in Covaxin trial in Patna

Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Sanjiv Chaurasia participated in the phase III trials of Covaxin, Bharat Biotech International Limited’s locally developed vaccine for Covid-19, at Patna’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Tuesday. He will be administered the second trial dose after 28 days, said Dr CM Singh, principal investigator of the trial.

Chaurasia said, “Everything is fine. I feel absolutely all right. I hope my action will dispel doubts raised by some opposition leaders over the reliability of the indigenous vaccine. I thank the Prime Minister and our scientists for developing the indigenous vaccine.”

The Opposition has criticised the Centre for prematurely rolling out Covaxin without the completion of its phase III trials. The Drugs Controller General of India on Sunday announced that it has approved Covaxin along with the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India by the Serum Institute of India. The immunisation roll-out will begin with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

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Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey said Chaurasia has given a befitting reply to the detractors. “He is the first MLA [member of legislative assembly] to have not only won the battle against coronavirus but also sent out a clear message about the safety of the vaccine by participating in its trial.”

Around 1,215 volunteers have so far participated in the phase III trials of Covaxin in Patna since December 7, said Dr Singh. Researchers are looking at a sample size of 25,800 volunteers across India.

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