New Delhi, July 5 (HS) Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday lambasted the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for announcing its plans to launch its indigenous Covid vaccine by mid-August, claiming that it was dangerous to ‘announce deadlines’ like this. He said it was just an attempt just to ‘make headlines’ and nothing else.
Calling the ICMR ‘Sarvagyani’, Jairam Ramesh claimed that announcing deadlines could destroy ICMR’s credibly and violateed its norms and safety protocols.
“Bharat Biotech is a fine company. Its founder says vaccine CAN be ready by end-2020. Great! But it’s dangerous for ‘Sarvagyani’ to fix August 15 for vaccine trial to be completed & destroy ICMR’s credibility. Managing headlines by deadlines violates all norms & safety protocols.,” the Congress leader said.
Jairam’s reaction came on after the ICMR said it aimed to launch the BBV152 COVID vaccine in partnership with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) for public use by August 15, 2020, after completing all clinical trials.
ICMR further said, “BBIL is working efficiently to meet the target, however, the final outcome depends on the cooperation of all clinical trial sites involved in this project.”
Ramesh also quoted reports of Bharat Biotech’s founder Krishna Ella’s interview suggesting that the vaccine could only complete Phase-1 trials by August.
Quoting WHO’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan as saying that a vaccine’s Phase-3 trials were most important for testing its efficacy, he lashed out at the ICMR saying, ‘come clean and your reputation’.
He said that the ‘scientific and ethical guidelines cannot be compromised.’