SunstarTV Bureau: Union minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had wrote to Chhattisgarh health minister TS Singh Deo, on Thursday, who has gone public with his concerns about Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
The primary concerns of the state are the inhibitions regarding the ‘incomplete third phase trials’ of the vaccine and the ‘absence of expiration date on the vials’, Mr Deo had tweeted, enclosing his letter to the Centre on the issue.
He had also requested the Centre to halt the supply of COVAXIN to Chhattisgarh until these issues are addressed.
A Congress-ruled state, Chhattisgarh had earlier expressed its reservations about Covaxin.
He also pointed out that the state has been way behind in its vaccination schedule, an issue which has been of growing concern to the Centre.
Covaxin, which was yet to complete its third phase of trials before being approved for use by the country’s drug regulator last month, is being used in clinical trial mode, meaning its recipients are being monitored. In Delhi, it is being administered to healthcare workers in the six Centrally-run hospitals.
In his response, Dr Harshvardhan said all vaccines supplied to states are “safe and immunogenic” and should be used expeditiously.
“Your concern regarding unavailability of expiry date on Covaxin vial is also completely unfounded and without basis as the same is mentioned on the label of vaccine vials,” the minister wrote, attaching a photo of a vial with the label.
The Union minister also pointed out that while Chhattisgarh has “achieved 69.87% coverage of its Health Care Workers by giving them the first dose of the vaccine, the state has been able to cover only 9.55% of its 2,09,512 Front Line Workers through the first dose of the vaccine.”