Mayawati, Shivpal Yadav back vaccine, urge govt to give it free to poor

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By: Express News Service | Lucknow | January 4, 2021 2:50:35 am

A day after Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav said that he would not take Covid vaccine shot, labelling it as “BJP vaccine”, several Opposition leaders came out in support of the indigenously developed vaccine on Sunday.

BSP president Mayawati congratulated the scientists associated with developing of the indigenous coronavirus vaccine – Covaxin — and urged the Centre to give it free to the poor.

“Much welcome of the indigenously developed vaccine against the highly dangerous coronavirus pandemic and congratulations to our scientists. Also, a special request to the Central government that if along with all the health workers, the extremely poor also get the vaccine for free, it would be appropriate,” she tweeted.

Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP) chief Shivpal Yadav said that it was a “proud moment” for every Indian. “Undoubtedly, this is a moment of pride for every Indian… Salute to the talent and productivity of our scientists,” tweeted Shivpal, the uncle of Akhilesh.

The UP unit of the Trinamool Congress also backed the indigenously-developed vaccine and said that we should avoid doing politics on the issue. “The country has received the Covid vaccine by the hard work of our scientists and we should be encouraging our scientists for it, instead of levelling allegations and accusations. I want to request all the political parties and the Central government to encourage the hard work of our scientists. The vaccine is a gift from our scientists and we should forward that gift to the people of our country,” UP unit chief of TMC Neeraj Rai said.

UP Congress chief Ajay Lallu refused to comment on Akhilesh’s statement, saying that a debate on the issue was of no use.

Meanwhile, several Samajwadi Party leaders, including former Etawah MP Premdas Katheria and Mirzapur MLC Ashutosh Sinha, backed Akhilesh for his statement on vaccines. While Katheria said that he would not get the vaccine as he does not trust the BJP, Sinha alleged that the vaccine could make a person impotent.

India’s top drug regulator — Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) – on Sunday approved Covishield, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Bharat Biotech’s indigenously-developed Covaxin as vaccine candidates for restricted use against Covid-19 in the country, paving the way for mass vaccination.

Earlier, Akhilesh had said that he would not take the “BJP’s vaccine”, and that when his government comes to power, everyone would be vaccinated for free. After he received flak for his remark, the former chief minister said in a tweet that he had “full confidence” in the ability of scientists, but he would not take the BJP’s “political vaccine”.

“The BJP government should not take this (vaccination) as an event to show off and it should be started only after proper arrangements. This is a matter of people’s lives and a mistake cannot be corrected later,” he tweeted on Sunday as he asked the government to announce a date for starting the drive to vaccinate the poor.

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