Deadline for vaccine launch meant to cut red tape: ICMR
With health experts raising concerns over the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) decision to set the August 15 deadline for the launch of the Covid-19 vaccine, the ICMR has said it has decided to fast track the process to cut red tape and it is in accordance with global practice.
In a statement, the ICMR said the letter sent by DG-ICMR to investigators of the clinical trial sites was “meant to cut unnecessary red tape, without bypassing any necessary process, and speed up recruitment of participants”.
“Just as red tape was not allowed to become a hindrance in the fast-track approval of new indigenous testing kits or for introducing in the Indian market potential Covid-19 related drugs, the indigenous vaccine development process has also been sought to be insulated from slow file movement,” the ICMR said in a statement.
But not convinced by the ICMR statement, both Congress and Left parties have said that the ICMR’’s plans to launch a coronavirus vaccine by August 15 was aimed only at enabling the Prime Minister to make a big announcement from the Red Fort.
“Why is ICMR rushing for an unrealistic timeline of August 15for Indian corona(virus) vaccine when global experts are giving 12 to 18 months ‘ time frame,” Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan tweeted.
Asserting that scientific advances cannot be “made to order”, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged the ICMR was trying to fast track the production of a coronavirus vaccine so that the Prime Minister i could make the announcement on Independence Day.
“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 indigenous 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,” Yechury said in a tweet.
Accusing the ICMR of “using threats to get institutions to fall in line” Yechury said that some of the institutions like NIMS in Hyderabad are state government institutions.
Sunday, 05 July 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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