Akhilesh Yadav On Covid-19 Vaccine: Won’t take ‘BJP vaccine’

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday termed the anti- COVID-19 vaccine to be rolled out in the country a “vaccine of the BJP” and said he would not take the shot

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NH Web Desk

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday termed the anti- COVID-19 vaccine to be rolled out in the country a "vaccine of the BJP" and said he would not take the shot. The SP leader’s comments regarding the vaccine come on a day when the Covid-19 vaccination dry run is underway across 259 vaccination centres in 116 districts of the country.

“I am not going to get vaccinated for now. How can I trust BJP’s vaccine, when our government will be formed everyone will get a free vaccine. We cannot take BJP’s vaccine,” the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said during a press conference in Lucknow.

During his press conference, Yadav also said his party will come to power in the state after the 2022 elections and everybody will get the vaccine free.

Akhilesh Yadav also attacked the Yogi Adityanath led-BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over its handling of the pandemic. SP President said: “Why cold-chain and refrigerators for the vaccine now? This government was warding off Covid by clanging plates, claps, and hovering helicopters over hospitals.”

Yadav’s remarks prompted an instant retort from BJP leader and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya who termed his statement an "insult to the doctors and scientists of the country".

However, Akhilesh later issued a clarification saying he had faith in the scientists but not in the medical system under the BJP government. He tweeted: “I have full confidence in the ability of scientists, but I do not trust the BJP’s unscientific clapping-and-banging plates thinking, and the BJP government’s arrangements for the distribution of the vaccine, which have remained paralysed during the pandemic. We will not get a shot of the BJP’s political vaccine. The SP government will give the vaccine for free.”

Meanwhile, Congress leaders have raised concern over approval for the restricted use of Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' without its phase 3 trials, with Shashi Tharoor saying it is "premature and could be dangerous".

"The Covaxin has not yet had Phase 3 trials. Approval was premature and could be dangerous. @drharshvardhan should please clarify. Its use should be avoided till full trials are over. India can start with the AstraZeneca vaccine in the meantime," Shashi Tharoor tweeted.

Another Congress leader Jairam Ramesh raised the same concern and tweetd, "Bharat Biotech is a first-rate enterprise, but it is puzzling that internationally-accepted protocols relating to phase 3 trials are being modified for Covaxin. Health Minister @drharshvardhan should clarify."

Meanwhile, India recorded 18,177 new Covid cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am January 3, taking the total number of infections to over 1.03 crore. A total of 217 deaths were reported on January 2, the toll currently stands at over 1.49 lakh.

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