Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : Special correspondents in India Hu Bofeng, Liu Haoran Page No. : NA

Is it “hidden danger” or “good luck”? 

In the past few days, India’s local vaccine product Co-vaxin has been questioned by the medical community and opposition parties for having been released “too hastily”, while the Indian ruling party has officials who oppose that people who do not believe in domestic vaccines are “bad brains”. Not open. With the development of the situation, the controversy surrounding the effectiveness of vaccines has risen to a political struggle about “national pride.”

Concern by the medical community, questioned by the opposition

The General Administration of Drug Administration of India approved the authorization application for the emergency use of two vaccine products at one go. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi even praised this progress as a “decisive turning point” in India’s anti-epidemic effort, saying that all Indians are for these two vaccines. We are proud of vaccine products. Compared with the optimism of government officials, people in the Indian medical community expressed shock. According to media reports such as India’s Deccan Chronicle, India’s “local vaccine” Covaxin is still in the third phase of clinical trials, and the “special approval” issued by the General Administration of Medicines has caused serious concerns in the industry.

According to a BBC report of the 5th, the Indian health supervision agency “All India Drug Action Network” (AIDAN) stated that Covaxin currently lacks effective data, lacks peer review, and the transparency of the approval process is also insufficient. The agency said that approval of such a vaccine product did not conform to scientific protocols and urged the government to cancel the approval for Covaxin. The response of some medical experts to this matter is also quite meaningful: When the Times of India asked the country’s well-known medical expert, Sandip Kang, on the 4th whether the “Covaxin vaccine is still in clinical trials, and what this meant”,  the doctor bluntly said “I have no idea at all” and explained that he had never seen such a situation in his entire career.

Senior Congressmen Tharoor and Ramesh of India’s opposition Congress also questioned the effectiveness of the vaccine, believing that India can first use the Covishield vaccine to vaccinate the public. Individual politicians of the Indian Socialist Party even released rumors that this domestic vaccine may cause “sexual impotence” and thus result in “population reduction”.

Vaccine company maintains, ruling party opposes choking

Faced with doubts or slanders from all walks of life, the vaccine company and many government officials in India responded fiercely. According to the “Indian Express”, Krishna Ella, managing director of Bharat Biotech, stated that the company’s vaccine production experience is “extremely rich” and the safety factor of Co-vaxin is as high as “200%”. Use of domestic vaccines should not be criticized. He believes that outside criticism of the company is tantamount to “a boycott of Indian companies”. He also specifically emphasized that the vaccine issue has now been “politicized” and that he and his family do not belong to any party.

India’s ruling party is also very keen to uphold domestic vaccines. According to the Times of India, Bharatiya Janata’s chairman Nada even cursed his opponent for being “infected”. He said on Twitter: “Facts have proven time and time again that whenever India has made some remarkable achievements, the Congress Party will always make some weird talks. The more they oppose, the easier it will get (for them) to be infected”. He also said that it is recommended that Congress members “go elsewhere to play politics” and not make fun of the precious lives of the people. India’s Minister of Oil, Gas and Steel, Pradhan, sarcastically said that those who question domestic vaccines are “sick in their brains” and they have no confidence in “Indian scientists or national strength”.

As of the 5th, India has confirmed over 10.35 million cases and nearly 150,000 deaths. For many Indians, vaccines can be described as life-saving straws. A survey on vaccination willingness conducted by the market research company Ipsos in October last year also showed that in India, China, South Korea, and Brazil, 4/5 of the respondents agreed that “if there is a vaccine, they would like to get vaccinated”. Among them, India The will of the people is the strongest. At present, the first batch of vaccinators in India are front-line medical workers, police and other groups, and many local reporters and professors said in an interview with our reporter that once it is their turn to get vaccinated, no matter what kind of vaccine, they must actively consider accepting it, and It is believed that “the emergence of vaccines may change the existing situation with regard to epidemic prevention in India”.

Adding too many political considerations to the vaccine issue?

Some analysts believe that the Indian ruling party has long been pursuing a nationalist policy, and this push for domestic vaccines is also a manifestation of the Modi government’s “self-reliance” plan. However, in the eyes of many critics, the country’s haste in vaccine work just shows the government’s abuses in governance of “exaggeration”. The Bloomberg commentary in the United States wrote, “Like many things in India today, the country’s vaccine science has not escaped the politics of nationalism”. The article believes that as a super populous country and the second most severely affected country in the world, epidemic prevention work in India is actually of great significance to the entire world. If too many “political considerations” are added on to the vaccine issue, and if the confidence of the people is shaken, it will be “dangerous”. 

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