Congress leader Gaurav Padhi, citing a Right to Information response, claimed that the government has admitted Covaxin consists of newborn calf serum. “…Which is a portion of clotted blood obtained from less than 20 days young cow-calves, after slaughtering them,” he tweeted. “This is heinous! This information should have been made public before.”
However, The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday clarified that the Covaxin does not contain newborn calf serum. The manufacturing company also stated that while the serum is used in the process of making the vaccine, it is not present in the final product.
“The final vaccine (COVAXIN) does not contain newborn calf serum at all and the calf serum is not an ingredient of the final vaccine product” it mentioned in the statement.
Clarifying the use of calf serum, the ministry said, “Newborn Calf Serum is used only for the preparation/ growth of Vero cells. Different kinds of bovine and other animal serum are standard enrichment ingredient used globally for Vero cell growth. Vero cells are used to establish cell lives which help in the production of vaccines.”
The ministry further informed that Vero cells are used to establish cell lives which help in the production of vaccines. This technique has been used for decades in developing vaccines against polio, rabies, and influenza. After growth, the Vero cells are washed in water and with chemicals, also technically known as buffer, multiple times to make them free from newborn calf serum.
Even the RTI clearly mentioned that the serum is used only in the “revival process” and not the final product.
Also, the information as Padhi claimed, wasn’t hidden from the public. It was mentioned by the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) in their research paper in 2020.
Congress and the entire Opposition is just trying to create vaccination hesitancy by raising dubious questions with baseless claims.