Health Minister Slams Congress MP For Doubting Vaccine Efficacy, Safety

Lashing out at the Congress, the Health Minister accused the party of spreading distrust and rumors about the vaccine.

Health Minister Slams Congress MP For Doubting Vaccine Efficacy, Safety

Harsha Vardhan shared photos of doctors, government functionaries getting inoculated (File)

New Delhi:

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today slammed Congress Member of Parliament Manish Tewari for raising questions over the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines being administered as India launched its nationwide vaccination drive.

Lashing out at the Congress, the Health Minister accused the party of spreading distrust and rumors about the vaccine.

"Manish Tewari and Congress are only passionate about spreading distrust and rumors. Open your eyes, sharing photos of eminent Doctors and government functionaries getting inoculated," Harsh Vardhan tweeted.

Further slamming Congress, Harsh Vardhan even quoted English writer Charles Caleb Colton: "So blinded are we by our passions that we suffer more to be damned than to be saved."

"Manish Tewari, the science behind COVID-19 vaccines is resolute. Our scientists have worked at lightning speed to expedite functions that contribute to the development of a vaccine but not a single function has been circumvented. Safety above all else has been the guiding principle!" Harsh Vardhan said in a subsequent tweet while responding to the statement made by the Congress leader.

The reactions came after Mr Tewari claimed that the government functionaries are not getting vaccinated due to the safety and reliability issues of the vaccine.

"If the vaccine is so safe and reliable and efficacy of the vaccine is beyond question then how is it that not a single functionary of the government has stepped forward to get themselves vaccinated as it has happened in other countries around the world?" asked Mr Tewari.

Earlier today, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Singh Guleria along with NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul were administered the COVID-19 vaccine shot at AIIMS in Delhi on the inaugural day of the nationwide roll-out of vaccination on Saturday.

Urging people to have faith in India's researchers, scientists, regulatory authorities, Dr Guleria reassured the nation that Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN vaccine is safe.

Termed as the world's largest vaccination programme, covering the entire length and breadth of India, the drive aims to first vaccinate millions of its healthcare and frontline workers and then reach an estimated 3 crore people by the end of its first phase.

In the first phase, government and private-sector health care workers, including Integrated Child Development Services workers, will receive the vaccine.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)