Covaxin is not a backup. We don't deserve backlash: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella
First Published Jan 4, 2021, 7:30 PM IST
Taking on naysayers, Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella said: "Now that the vaccine is being politicized, I want to state very clearly that none of my family members is associated with any political party."
Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella has sought to dispel speculation regarding the company's Coronavirus vaccine Covaxin's efficacy.
There have been aspersions cast from members of the scientific community and Opposition leaders over the vaccine been granted Emergency Use Authorisation despite lack of Phase 3 trial data.
Defending the vaccine, the Bharat Biotech MD said: "We are not just conducting clinical trials in India. We have done clinical trials more than 12 countries including the UK. We are doing clinical trials in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh & other countries. We are not just an Indian company, we are truly a global company.
Taking on naysayers, Krishna Ella said: "Now that the vaccine is being politicized, I want to state very clearly that none of my family members is associated with any political party."
"We are not a company without experience in vaccines. We have tremendous experience in vaccines. We are touching 123 countries. We are the only company that has got such extensive experience & extensive publication in review journals," he said.
Krishna Ella said: "Many people just gossiping, it's just a backlash against Indian companies. That is not right for us. We don't deserve that. Merck's Ebola vaccine never completed a human clinical trial at all but WHO gave emergency authorization for Liberia & Guinea. Even the US government says emergency authorization can be given if a company has good immunization data. Merck's Ebola vaccine got authorization for emergency use even before completion of the phase-3 trial. Johnson & Johnson did trials on 87 people and got an emergency licence."
Slamming detractors for claiming that the company was not being transparent with regard to the vaccine data, the Bharat Biotech MD said: "I think people should have the patience to read on the internet & how many articles we have published. More than 70 articles have been published in various international journals."
He also rejected reports that Covaxin was a "back-up" vaccine.
"It is a vaccine. It is not a backup. People should be responsible before making such statements," Krishna Ella said.
The Biotech MD said that the company will roll out the vaccine as early as possible.
"Currently, we have 20 million doses. We are aiming to achieve 700 million doses capacity in four facilities -- three in Hyderabad and one in Bengaluru. We are encountering so many problems including related to logistics."
The Biotech MD also confirmed that the cost of the vaccine may be a little higher in the beginning. He, however, said that the price will be controlled by the market as the scale of production increases.
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