Don’t deserve backlash: Biotech

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 4

A day after the opposition Congress and a section of experts questioned the regulator’s nod for “still-under-trial” indigenous Covid-19 jab Covaxin, the Chairman of the vaccine producing firm Bharat Biotech said they did not deserve this backlash.

“We have published in a lot of journals and were the first to identify the Zika virus. We were the first to file a global patent for Zika and Chikungunya vaccines. It is not right to say we are not transparent with data. We do not deserve this backlash,” Bharat Biotech Chairman Krishna Ella said in a virtual press conference held today. Ella said Biotech was a global company and had made 16 vaccines.

“Do not accuse us of inexperience. We have published in a lot of journals and have the only bio-safety level 3 facility in the world which even the US does not have. We have published five research articles on Covaxin trials and not inferior to Pfizer when it comes to publications,” Ella said, adding that the efficacy data from phase 3 trials of Covaxin would be available by March.

Biotech, he said, was running trials in 12 countries, besides India.“Ours is the only vaccine for 12 years and above. We plan to do clinical trials in children as well,” said Ella. Ella added Biotech had 20 million doses ready and through 2021 was aiming to achieve greater capacity. He said people were targeting “Indian companies”. “This is not right,” he said, a day after Serum Institute of India’s CEO Adar Poonawala claimed that only Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines had shown efficacy and the rest were “safe like water”. Responding to AIIMS New Delhi chief’s remarks that Covaxin would be a back up vaccine, Ella said, “I do not know what is a backup vaccine; there is no back up in the world.”

Tie-up for vaccine distribution

New Delhi: In a major initiative to meet the unique logistical challenge in the air cargo industry, GMR Hyderabad has tied up with Dubai Airport to launch project “HYDXB-VAXCOR” to move billions of dosages of Covid-19 vaccine worldwide. Hyderabad has incidentally become a major hub for production of Covid-19 vaccine.

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