Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tej Pratap Yadav joined the growing voices of opposition leaders who are against taking the coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine shot when it becomes available in the country. Yadav said on Friday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should lead and take the first shot of Covid-19 vaccine, following which others will also get it.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take first shot of Covid-19 vaccine, then, we will also take it,” said the Bihar politician, reported news agency ANI.
The RJD leader’s comments come in the backdrop of staunch disapproval from several leaders from the opposition including Congress’ Manish Tewari and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav.
Earlier this week, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said that the state government was all prepared for administering Covid 19 vaccinations across the state.
“We are prepared for administering vaccination in Bihar,” he said at a function and spelled out the priority list for Covid-19 vaccination.
“The vaccination will be done in accordance with the Centres guidelines and priority will be given to those who are more than 50 years of age or are involved in professions like health care, frontline workers, priority age groups, public representatives, all people engaged in government works, contract workers, shopkeepers, traders and all vulnerable groups, etc.,” the CM had said.
Congress leaders Manish Tewari, Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh have expressed concerns regarding Covaxin, the vaccine made by Bharat Biotech and recently approved by Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). “A number of eminent etymologists and other medical practitioners have expressed surprise with regard to the fact that this vaccine has been cleared without phase III trials having been completed,” Tewari said. “This obviously raises questions with regard to the efficacy of the vaccine.”
“In other words, those Indians who would be administered Covaxin would, in effect, be volunteers for the required third stage clinical trial – without the mandatory ‘informed consent’. This is, to put it mildly, highly unusual. It is also ethically dubious,” Tharoor said.
In a tweet, Ramesh said, “Bharat Biotech is a first-rate enterprise, but it is puzzling that internationally-accepted protocols relating to phase 3 trials are being modified for Covaxin. Health Minister @drharshvardhan should clarify.”
Congress leader Anand Sharma-led parliamentary standing committee on home affairs has also advised caution in granting emergency approval to the vaccines.