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ICMR should not make orders on inventing Covid- 19 vaccine: Yechury

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 04, 2020 Published on July 04, 2020

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury stage a protest in New Delhi   -  PTI

What liability is ICMR assuming in aggressively pushing the trial of a vaccine produced by a private company, asks CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury

Commenting on the letter by the ICMR to scientists setting a deadline, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that scientific advances can never be "made to order."

He said health and safety norms should not be bypassed to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce the launch of the vaccine on August 15.

Yechury said a vaccine would be the most decisive redemption from the Pandemic. "The World is waiting for a safe vaccine, which is universally accessible. But scientific advances can never be ‘made to order’. Forcing the development of an indegenous vaccine as a cure for Covid-19, bypassing all health & safety norms, to be announced by PM Modi on Independence Day is fraught with horrendous human costs," the CPI(M) leader said.

He asked how the ICMR can decide on the launch date of the vaccine without the regulator DCGI evaluating the evidence of safety and efficacy. "What liability is ICMR assuming in aggressively pushing the trial of a vaccine produced by a private company?" Yechury asked.

"How can ICMR compel institutions to start trials without giving time to their Institutional Ethics Committees to examine the trial protocol, consent procedures and liability?," Yechury added in the statement.

The former Rajya Sabha member said ICMR is using threats to get institutions to fall in line. "How has ICMR selected the institutions which will conduct the trial? Three of them are private institutions, including a private practitioner who has no institutional address!," he said.

He said some of the institutions like NIMS in Hyderabad are State government institutions. "Has permission been given by the Government of Telangana? What is the number of people who will be studied in this trial? Will phase 1, 2 and 3 trials be completed and analysed by August 14? Who are the members of the independent Data Safety Monitoring Committee (DSMC)," he added.

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Published on July 04, 2020
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