First They Ignore You: Rahul Gandhi on Govt Fast-Tracking Vaccines

The Quint
·2 min read

After the central government fast-tracked the emergency approval for COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, which is already authorised for emergency use in 59 other nations, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, 14 April criticised the BJP government, which had on previous occasion censured Gandhi for urging the administration to fast-track more vaccines.

The leader took to Twitter on Wednesday and wrote, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

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As the country witnesses a surge in infections, India has fast-tracked the use of Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, which is now cleared to be administered in the country besides the already in-use Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and AstraZeneca's Covishield.

The move also comes ahead of possible imports of Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna jabs. With this, pharmaceutical companies will not need to conduct local safety trials for their vaccines before seeking emergency approval, NDTV reported.

Last week, the BJP had slammed at Gandhi for his letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in which he underlined the government's “poor management” in administering vaccinations “at a snail's pace” and urged the PM to fast-track approvals of other vaccines as per norms and guidelines.

The Congress leader was also criticised by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, following his demand after several states, including the worst-hit Maharashtra, reported a shortage of doses.

Union Minister Smriti Irani also took a dig at the politician saying, "Part-time politician, full-time lobbyist! Is that a surprise?"

On Wednesday, India reported over 1.84 lakh new cases in the last 24 hours, hitting the highest daily tally since the pandemic began. The total cases now stand over 1.38 crore. Deaths rose by 1,027 to 1,72,085.

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