Vaccine trials being conducted on Bhopal gas victims without consent, alleges activist

Bhopal: People affected by the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy are being violated as trails of indigenous vaccine Covaxin–developed by Bharath Biotech–are being conducted on them without their consent, an activist claimed. The vaccine candidate is in its Phase-3 trial at the  People’s University in Bhopal.

“Poor and vulnerable residents of gas affected communities are herded by the People’s University with a promise of Rs. 750,” said social activist Rachana Dhingra, who works with the survivors of the union carbide disaster.

In a series of claims, the activist shared the vaccine trial form and a video of a man who participated.

She alleged that most of the participants are not even aware that they are a part of the Phase-3 trial. “They are told that they are being given the vaccine to stop COVID-19,” Rachana wrote in her tweet. “And no copy of the consent form is being given,” she added.

“In case of adverse conditions, they are prescribed medicines and are expected to foot the bill. Can things get worse than this?” questions the activist. The participant also confirmed the claim.

Replying to her tweet, many expressed doubts over the trail and praised the activist for her efforts. “Everything going in this country is in the wrong process but the government wants to make us believe that all is good,” replied a Twitter user Parvez Ansari.

Another user Akshay Deshmane said, “This is a shocking allegation against the trail. Is India’s battle against the COVID-19 shortchanging some of this country’s most poor and vulnerable?”