Pfizer CEO gets grilled at Davos; India stands vindicated for not buckling under pressure

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By: TNI Team | New Delhi
Updated: 21 January, 2023 6:21 pm IST
A video of Chief Executive Officer of US-based pharma giant Pfizer Alberta Bourla dodged media's queries on the efficacy of its Covid vaccine against transmission of the virus on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum meeting,
A video of Chief Executive Officer of US-based pharma giant Pfizer Alberta Bourla dodged media's queries on the efficacy of its Covid vaccine against transmission of the virus on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum meeting,

A video of Chief Executive Officer of US-based pharma giant Pfizer Alberta Bourla dodged media’s queries on the efficacy of its Covid vaccine against transmission of the virus on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum meeting,

In the viral clip from the interview, a journalist is asking Bourla some tough questions like when he came to know that the (Pfizer) vaccines didn’t stop transmission, and why did he not make the information public. A nonchalant Pfizer CEO replied with“have a nice day and Thank you very much”

In the video, the journalist further prods Bourla about his changing stance on the efficacy of the medicine. “You (Pfizer) said it was 100 percent effective, then 90 percent, then 80 percent, then 70 percent, but we now know that the vaccines do not stop transmission. Why did you keep that a secret?” he said.

The journalist also asked if the CEO would like to apologize and give refunds to the countries that bought vaccines that did not yield results.  But medical experts, scientists, and doctors clarified that vaccines are holding up against admission to hospital and mortality, “but not so much against transmission.”

During the initial days of the commencement of the vaccination drive, Pfizer sought an indemnity bond that will exempt it from legal claims in case there are any adverse effects from the vaccine.

The company attempted to coerce the Narendra Modi-led Indian government into accepting its conditions but did not succeed. The Pfizer vaccine was not accepted in India. Subject Expert Committee under CDSCO did not recommend that the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approve the Pfizer application. According to the minutes of the meeting, “incidents of palsy, anaphylaxis and other SAE’s have been reported during post-marketing and the causality of the events with the vaccine is being investigated. Further, the firm has not proposed any plan to generate safety and immunogenicity data in the Indian population.”

After this video from WEF went viral, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar has trained his guns against the Opposition who supported the entry of foreign vaccines in India against their own vaccine.

Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar took to Twitter on Saturday and put out the video of the Pfizer CEO’s uneasy encounter in Davos, and wrote, “Just to remind all Indians, that Pfizer tried to bully the Govt of India into accepting conditions of indemnity.”

He targeted Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, P Chidamabaram, and Jairam Ramesh, claiming that the trio kept pushing the case for administering foreign vaccines in India.

When India was developing the indigenous Covaxin, various Congress leaders including Gaurav Pandhi tweeted rumors against the Bharat BioTech vaccine, saying, it contained “calf serum”.

The Ministry later clarified are refuted such claims.

Popular scientific publication Lancet was critical of the Modi government for not accepting foreign vaccines to India and said, “PM Modi’s actions to stifle criticism are inexcusable, India squandered early success in controlling COVID-19. India’s vaccination policy is botched and fell apart at the centre and Modi government is more intent on removing criticism than a pandemic. Modi govt would be responsible for presiding over a self-inflicted national catastrophe.

In spite of all impediments, India’s immunization drive against Covid was by and large fulfilled through indigenously manufactured vaccines.

 

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