Mumbai: Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan has alleged that ICMR’s claim of preparing a coronavirus vaccine by August 15 is unrealistic. It is aimed only at enabling Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make a major announcement on the Independence Day on the backdrop of failures like lockdown mess, tumbling economy and humiliation in Galwan valley, he said.
“Why is ICMR rushing for an unrealistic timeline of August 15 for Indian corona vaccine when global experts are giving 12 to 18 months’ time frame,” Mr Chavan tweeted. The Congress leader has also asked the Union health minister to make a clarification in this regard.
To support his claims, the former Maharashtra Chief Minister in his tweet has also referred to the article in New York Times saying “Can a vaccine for Covid-19 be developed in record time?” The article consists of a panel discussion among medical experts, who have said that it would take nearly 12 to 18 months to develop a vaccine for Covid-19.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Friday that it aims to launch the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine by August 15. The ICMR has written to Bharat Biotech India Ltd (BBIL) to expedite the clinical trials for their jointly developed Covid-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ ready for launch by Independence Day.
“ln view of the public health emergency due to Covid-19 pandemic and urgency to launch the vaccine, you are strictly advised to fast track all approvals related to initiation of the clinical trial and ensure that the subject enrollment is initiated no later than July 7, 2020,” the ICMR has told the BBIL.
The indigenous, inactivated vaccine was developed in Bharat Biotech’s facility located in Genome Valley in Hyderabad and human clinical trials are scheduled to start across India this month, the company had said. However, medical experts have expressed concerns over the rushing of trials saying that it is loaded with potential risks.