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‘Covid-19 boosters need of the hour’: Chidambaram, Rahul Gandhi mount pressure on govt

P Chidambaram alleged that the government was exposing millions of vaccinated Indians to the new strain of the infection in its “mistaken zeal to protect” the economic interests of Serum Institute of India, which manufactures the Covishield vaccine.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
December 23, 2021 8:11:04 am
Senior Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and P Chidambaram have been raising the issue of Covid-19 boosters in Parliament as well. (File Photos)

Senior Congress leaders, including P Chidambaram and Rahul Gandhi, have started mounting pressure on the Centre to allow booster shots, even though the government has asked states to impose strict restrictions in districts reporting a high number of Omicron cases.

Chidambaram alleged that the government was exposing millions of vaccinated Indians to the new strain of the infection in its “mistaken zeal to protect” the economic interests of Serum Institute of India, which manufactures the Covishield vaccine.

“There is enough research and scholarly writing to conclude that booster shots are an imperative. The Lancet study on the efficacy of COVISHIELD — not more than three months — should ring the alarm bells. The time to allow booster shots is NOW,” Chidambaram said in a Twitter post.

He added that the government should also authorise the use of other approved vaccines, like Pfizer and Moderna.

“In its mistaken zeal to protect the economic interests of Serum Institute of India (protectionism), the government is exposing millions of vaccinated Indians to infection,” Chidambaram said. He further warned that “if a third wave strikes and infects large numbers of vaccinated Indians, the government alone must bear the blame”.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, too, reiterated the stand. “Majority of our population is still not vaccinated. When will GOI begin booster shots?” he asked in a tweet.

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