In the midst of the first day of the nationwide coronavirus vaccination drive, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and senior Congress leader Manish Tewari were engaged in a war of words after the latter questioned the safety and efficacy of the two indigenous Covid-19 vaccines.
The Health Minister accused the Congress of spreading “distrust and rumours” and said that the science behind the vaccines is “resolute”. “Our scientists have worked at lightning speed to expedite functions that contribute to development of a vaccine but not a single function has been circumvented,” he tweeted. “Safety above all else has been the guiding principle!”
Responding to the Dr Harsh Vardhan’s attack, Tewari said his concerns were “real and not imagined” and accused the Health Minister of hiding behind “vaccine nationalism”. “It is not fear Mongering. Look what is happening in Norway. It may be a different vaccine but do not hide behind vaccine nationalism,” he wrote on Twitter. “Expected better of you sir.”
Earlier today, Tewari questioned the basis on which the two vaccines — Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin — were granted approval. He further alleged that the Covaxin vaccine was cleared “sans due process”.