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FACT CHECK: No, Bharat Biotech VP is not taking the first dose of anti-Covid drug ‘Covaxin’

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Summary

The viral image of Bharat Biotech V-P Dr. VK Srinivas taking the first dose of anti-COVID vaccine “Covaxin” as the human trial is misleading. The picture is of routine procedural blood draw for testing all production staff.

Recently, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has written to Bharat Biotech India Ltd (BBIL) to step up the clinical trials for their jointly-developed COVID-19 vaccine (BBV152 COVID vaccine) or ‘Covaxin’. Amid this, a picture of a woman in medical gear thrusting a syringe in a man’s veins is circulating on social media with the claim that the first dose of the vaccine was administered on BBIL vice president VK Srinivas as part of human trial.

A Twitter user named Ravi Vallabhaneni shared the image with a caption, "Dr V. K.Srinivas , Vice President, Bharat biotech, taking Corona vaccine clinical trial After taking the first dose that he said he is the first person in India to take vaccine developed by his team in Bharat Biotech. Look at the confidence that they have in their product."

The image is being widely circulated on Twitter and Facebook

However, this claim is misleading. Bharat Biotech has denied that the image is of clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine. 

After the image went viral, Bharat Biotech tweeted, refuting the claim. The rebuttal reads as, “Certain images and messages being circulated on WhatsApp and other social media platforms have NOT been disseminated by Bharat Biotech. The image being circulated is a routine procedural blood draw for testing all production staff.”

Furthermore, on July 1, the news channel “NDTV” had tweeted an interview of Dr. Krishna Ella, chairman and MD of Bharat Biotech, where he said that human trials should start in 10 days.

Hence, it can be concluded that the viral image of Bharat Biotech V-P Dr. VK Srinivas taking the first dose of anti-COVID vaccine “Covaxin” as the human trial is misleading. The picture is of routine procedural blood draw for testing all production staff.

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