The new Coronavirus vaccine has brought to the forefront a slugfest within the Congress.

Shortly after the government announced that India had given Emergency Use Authorisation to not one but two Coronavirus vaccines, Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala welcomed the decision.

He said, "Kudos to our scientists & researchers of Bharat Biotech on approval of the indigenously developed Corona vaccine & Serum Institute & its scientists too. India has always lead the way in path-breaking innovations in past & will continue to do the same. Great start for New Year."

However, hours later, the tune changed.

First, it was former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh who while seeking clarification from Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, 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." 

 

 

Then, Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor said short-circuiting the vaccine approval process is unprecedented, inadvisable and risks lives.

While asserting that he and his party will be proud if the vaccine turns out to work effectively, Tharoor said that offering a vaccine before Phase 3 clinical trials have proven efficacy is a violation of every scientific protocol and unheard of in the world. 

"Jingoism is no substitute for common sense," he said.

 

 

Today, Congress leader Milind Deora --without taking names -- took potshots at the those opposing the vaccine rollout.

In a cryptic Tweet, he said: "When we habitually oppose for the sake of opposing, we risk losing the credibility to ask genuine questions & hold the government accountable. No less the Prime Minister must come clean and restore eroding public faith in Covaxin."

 

 

Meanwhile, awaited still is an official response from the Gandhis on the vaccine announcement.