As over three month long ethnic violence continued in Manipur, the Home Ministry has deployed 10 additional companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) in the northeastern state, an official said here on Sunday.
The Union Health Ministry on Thursday rejected the media reports claiming that Covaxin’s indigenous manufacturer- Bharat Biotech, skipped certain processes to speed up the clinical trials due to political pressure.
Calling the reports completely misleading, fallacious, and ill-informed the Health Ministry said, “The government of India and the national regulator Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) have followed a scientific approach and prescribed norms in approving the Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use authorization.”
The media reports claimed that there were several irregularities in the three phases of the clinical trials conducted for the vaccine and Bharat Biotech “had to skip certain processes” and “speed” up clinical trials due to political pressure.
The Health Ministry stated that the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) met on 1st and 2nd January 2021 and after due deliberations, made recommendations in respect of the proposal for Restricted Emergency Approval of the vaccine.
“Before Covaxin was approved for restricted emergency use in January 2021, the Subject Expert Committee reviewed the data on the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine and recommended for grant of permission for restricted use in an emergency situation in the public interest as an abundant precaution, in clinical trial mode, to have more options for vaccinations, especially in case of infection by mutant strains,” the Ministry further added.
“The SEC’s approval for the commencement of phase 3 clinical trial of the proposed dose of Covaxin was based on scientific data presented by Bharat Biotech and established practices in this regard.”
“Moreover, the purported ‘unscientific changes’ in clinical trials of Covaxin, as claimed in the news reports, were made after submission made by Bharat Biotech in CDSCO, compliance of due process in CDSCO and with approval from the DGCI.”
The Ministry added that based on the further submission made by Bharat Biotech and assessment of interim efficacy and safety data by SEC of CDSCO, the condition of administration of the vaccine in ‘clinical trial mode’ was removed on March 11, 2021.
“Authorization to vaccines including Covaxin for restricted use in an emergency situation with various conditions and restrictions was granted by the national regulator only on the recommendations of the Subject Expert Committee of CDSCO.”
“The SEC consists of domain knowledge experts from the fields of pulmonology, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, pediatrics, internal medicine, etc,” the Ministry further added.