Question on BHU's study regarding Covaxin, ICMR said – the method of study is wrong, isolated myself

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

New Delhi : The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has rejected the study related to Covaxin conducted by Banaras Hindu University (BHU). This study claimed that Covaxin increased the risk of stroke and rare Guillain-Barré syndrome. ICMR has written a letter to the editor of the New Zealand-based Drug Safety Journal. It said it should retract the study on side effects of Covaxin recently published by BHU authors as the name of the apex research body was 'incorrectly and misleadingly' quoted in the paper.

The apex research institute wrote in the letter that ICMR is not associated with this study. Also, no financial or technical support has been provided by them for the research. It further said that further, you have said that ICMR has given support for the research without any prior approval or information, which is inappropriate and unacceptable. ICMR Director General Dr Rajiv Bahl said in the letter that the apex research body cannot be associated with this poorly conducted study, which aims to misrepresent the 'safety analysis' of Covaxin.

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Dr. Bahl has asked the study's authors and the journal's editor to remove ICMR's information and publish a corrigendum. Dr. Bahl wrote that we have also seen that you have used the name of ICMR in similar previous papers without permission. He also sought clarification from the authors of the study as to why ICMR should not take legal and administrative action against them. They also highlighted the poor methodology and design of the study.

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Covaxin, the anti-COVID-19 vaccine, was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research – National Institute of Virology. ICMR Director General highlighted that ICMR was accepted for research support without any prior approval or information. This is unfair and unacceptable. The study fails to control a group of unvaccinated individuals. This makes it impossible to attribute the reported events to the Covaxin vaccine.

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