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‘Credibility of scientists hurt’ — former AIIMS chiefs, other experts slam vaccine skeptics

Former AIIMS director T.D. Dogra, along with 48 other medical experts & scientists, has urged people to 'reject the manipulations' of those trying to 'defame' the scientific community. 

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New Delhi: As many as 49 scientists and medical experts have issued a statement against those questioning the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines Covishield and Covaxin, approved for emergency use in India.

Former All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director T.D. Dogra, along with a group of doctors, scientists and medical professionals, has urged people to “reject the manipulations” of those trying to “defame” doctors and the scientific community for “their narrow vested interests”.

“We urge upon our fellow countrymen to reject the manipulations of vested interests aimed at politicisation and defamation of our nation’s scientists, doctors and scientific community for their narrow vested interests. They need to realise that by doing so, these vested interests are wrecking the highly valued and credible scientific edifice created by us, which has made India a global leader in the export of vaccines all over the world,” the statement read.

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr Dogra said, “Those doubting the vaccines for their vested interests or to make political statements do not realise that their statements have hurt the credibility of the work of scientists who have been working tirelessly.”

Some of the other prominent signatories of the statement include M.C. Mishra, former director of AIIMS; B. Dinesh Kumar, former director grade scientist at ICMR-NIN Hyderabad; Ramesh V. Bhat, former deputy director of ICMR; and A. Gangagni Rao, former chief scientist at CSIR-IICT, Hyderabad.

Also read: Why Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is the object of national pride & scientific scepticism

‘Safety parameters of Covaxin are very good’ 

Defending Covishield, the AstraZeneca-Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine developed at Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), the statement said its efficacy was tested on 23,745 participants.

“COVISHIELD has been developed at the SII Pune laboratory with a master seed from Astra Zeneca. This vaccine has undergone phase I, II and III clinical trials of safety, immunogenicity and efficacy abroad. The efficacy was carried out on 23,745 participants aged ≥ 18 years or older. The overall vaccine efficacy was found to be 70.42 per cent.”

Dr Dogra also defended the efficacy of the indigenous vaccine Covaxin that has been developed by Bharat Biotech. The statement noted that even though “efficacy data (for Covaxin) is not available but safety parameters are very good and there is a robust immune response seen with this vaccine”.

According to these experts, the vaccines are India’s “gift to humanity” and should be given the respect they deserve.

Also read: Indians trust Covid vaccination the most, 80% willing to take it now, finds global survey

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  1. The Lutyens liberals will now defame these scientists, with college drop out, Shri Kunal Kamra as their cheerleader.

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