BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra (Photo/ANI)
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra (Photo/ANI)

Patra attacks Congress, accuses it of creating doubts about Covaxin

ANI | Updated: Jun 16, 2021 20:53 IST

New Delhi [India], June 16 (ANI): BJP leader Sambit Patra on Wednesday attacked the Congress over remarks of its national social media coordinator concerning the manufacturing process of Covaxin based on RTI response and said the opposition party will be remembered for "creating doubts about vaccine" and "destroying it".
Addressing a press conference, Patra said India is fighting the COVID-19 second wave and alleged that Congress is trying to create doubts about the indigenous vaccine produced by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR.
He said an allegation has been levelled that Covaxin contains "serum of calf".
Patra said the Health Ministry and scientists have made it clear that Covaxin, the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Bharat Biotech, does not contain the serum of cow or calf.
"This vaccine is totally safe," he said.
"Today the Congress party has committed a big sin as they created doubts about Made in India 'Covaxin' on social media and press conference," he alleged.
He said Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra should tell when did they take the first and second dose of the COVID vaccine.
"Has the Gandhi family got vaccinated or not? Does the Gandhi family believe in the vaccine or not? These questions are of the entire country," he said.
The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said that newborn calf serum is not an ingredient of the final Covaxin vaccine by Bharat Biotech.
The ministry in a statement said that facts have been "twisted and misrepresented" in some social media posts which suggested that indigenously developed Covaxin contains newborn calf serum.
The Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer also in a statement said that while the serum is used in the process of making the vaccine, it is not present in the final formulated product.
Newborn calf serum is used only for the preparation and growth of vero cells and that serum from bovine and other animal are standard enrichment ingredient used globally for vero cell growth, the ministry said.
"Different kinds of bovine and other animal serum are standard enrichment ingredients used globally for Vero cell growth. Vero cells are used to establish cell lines that help in the production of vaccines. This technique has been used for decades in Polio, Rabies, and Influenza vaccines," it said.
These Vero cells, after the viral growth, are washed with water, with chemicals, technically known as buffer, many times to make it free from the newborn calf serum. Thereafter, these Vero cells are infected with coronavirus for viral growth.
The Vero cells are completely destroyed in the process of viral growth. Thereafter this grown virus is also killed (inactivated) and purified. This killed virus is then used to make the final vaccine, and in the final vaccine formulation, no calf serum is used, according to the statement.
"Hence, the final vaccine (Covaxin) does not contain newborn calf serum at all and the calf serum is not an ingredient of the final vaccine product," the ministry said.
Pandhi had earlier spoken about Covaxin in a tweet and said a conversation was going on about the vaccine "based on RTI response".
"BJP Govt should not betray the faith and belief of people, if Covaxin or any other vaccine consists of cow-calf serum, then people have the right to know. Vaccines are the life line today and everyone must get vaccinated (as & when available) keeping faiths and beliefs aside," he said. (ANI)