Without naming Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawala, the founder and chairman and founder of Bharath BioTech, Dr Krishan Ella lashed out at detractors who criticised the speed at which emergency use authorisation (EUA) was given to Covaxin. He said on Monday, “We do 200% honest clinical trials and yet we receive backlash. We don’t deserve this. If I am wrong, tell me. Some companies have branded our vaccine, like “water” and I strictly want to deny that. We are scientists.“
SII CEO Poonawala had said in a TV interview on Sunday that there were only three vaccines with proven efficiency which are Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford Astrazeneca and the rest were just “safe like water”. This seems to have made Ella say the statement. Ella said the US and Europe had refused to accept the Astrazeneca-Oxford vaccine trial data from the UK because it was not “clean”, but no one was questioning Oxford data. Apparently, the Covishield happens to be from the AstraZeneca manufacturers.
Dr Krishnan Ella alleged that volunteers in the Astrazeneca-Oxford trials were administered with paracetamol tablets before being given the vaccine shots and that if his company had done something of that sort, it would have been shut down by the Indian regulators. “We have not given paracetamol to volunteers so whatever adverse reaction is captured, it is exactly 100% be it good or bad. It is certainly being captured in real-time,” he said.
Ella also slammed AIIMS Chief DR.Randeep Guleria who had on Sunday suggested that Covaxin could be a “back-up” for other vaccines. Ella told, “It is a vaccine and not a backup. People should be responsible before making such statements.” Ella also claimed Covaxin had many publications in international peer-reviewed journals as Pfizer and more than any of the other Covid-19 vaccine candidates. He also confirmed that the Covaxin Phase III trials were being handled by an American MNC, IQVIA and the phase III trials will be monitored for 12 months after the dose administration.
He insisted that their work was in no way inferior to Pfizer in terms of publication and Covaxin had less than 15% adverse effects. He confirmed,” As we go along, we have found less than 10% of side effects. We have vaccinated more than 24,000 people already.