ICMR letter was intended to expedite jab trials: Govt

NEW DELHI: Almost a week after a controversy erupted over a letter from the director general of ICMR indicating August 15 as the deadline to launch a locally developed Covid-19 vaccine from Bharat Biotech, the health ministry came in support of the council and said the “intent of the letter” was to expedite availability of the vaccine without compromising on its quality and efficacy…

The whole idea is to have indigenous candidates. Indian manufacturers have developed vaccine candidates in record time. We want to make the vaccine available as early as possible. The intent of the letter from DG, ICMR was to tell sites to fast-track it. We have indigenous candidates and we must not miss the bus. We need a vaccine today. If we go into making a vaccine by using conventional methods and bring a vaccine after two years, then it will be of no use. This was the spirit behind the letter,” ICMR scientist Nivedita Gupta said.
..Health ministry’s Rajesh Bhushan said the intent of the letter was to expedite the process of clinical trials without compromising on safety and efficacy. On July 2, ICMR DG Balram Bhargava had said in a letter that the government aimed to launch India’s first locally made Covid vaccine for public health use by August 15 and asked clinical trial sites for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin to fast-track processes to meet the timeline.