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‘First they ignore you…then you win’: Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at Centre over fast-tracking approval for foreign vaccines

Gandhi, who had been earlier criticised by BJP for his demand to fast-track more vaccines, tweeted, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 14, 2021 6:02:16 pm
Rahul GandhiSenior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday took a dig at the Centre over its decision to fast-track approval for foreign vaccines. Gandhi, who had been earlier criticised by BJP for his demand to fast-track more vaccines, tweeted, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

The senior Congress leader had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that approval of vaccines is fast-tracked. He also demanded that an immediate moratorium is put on the export of vaccines and everyone is made eligible to get the jab.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, in a letter to the prime minister, had also requested him to allow emergency use of all the vaccine candidates having required clearances.

In a significant shift in its policy on regulatory approvals for foreign manufacturers to commercially market their Covid-19 vaccines in the country, the government Tuesday announced it would not enforce the pre-condition of conducting phase 2 and 3 clinical trials in India for those vaccines that have been granted emergency approvals by the US, EU, UK and Japanese regulators, including those listed by the WHO.

The move is significant as it may make available several vaccines, including those made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, in India with certain conditions.

Coming down heavily on Gandhi’s demand to fast-track vaccine approvals, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had tweeted, “After failing as a part-time politician, has Rahul Gandhi switched to full time lobbying? First he lobbied for fighter plane companies by trying to derail India’s acquisition programme. Now he is lobbying for pharma companies by asking for arbitrary approvals for foreign vaccines.”

Prasad further wrote, “Fighting a pandemic is not a one trick game. Apart from vaccination, there needs to be adequate focus on testing, tracing & treating. Rahul Gandhi’s problem is that he doesn’t understand all this and his ignorance is compounded by his arrogance.”

India’s move to ask foreign vaccines to apply for approval now is a significant shift in its policy on regulatory approvals for foreign manufacturers to commercially market their Covid vaccines in the country.

The move, which comes at a time when vaccine shortages are being reported from various parts of the country, may see Pfizer reapply for emergency use authorization and also the US-based Moderna entering the market.

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