Fake: COVAXIN does not contain newborn calf serum at all
New Delhi, June 16: The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday dismissed social media posts suggesting COVAXIN contains the newborn calf serum.
"There have been some social media posts regarding composition of the COVAXIN vaccine where it has been suggested that COVAXIN vaccine contains the newborn calf serum. Facts have been twisted and misrepresented in these posts," the health ministry said.
"Newborn Calf Serum is used only for preparation/ growth of vero cells. Different kinds of bovine and other animal serum are standard enrichment ingredient used globally for vero cell growth. Vero cells are used to establish cell lives which help in production of vaccines. This technique has been used for decades in Polio, Rabies, and Influenza vaccines," it clarified.
"These vero cells, after the growth, are washed with water, with chemicals (also technically known as buffer), many times to make it free from the newborn calf serum. Thereafter, these vero cells are infected with corona virus for viral growth, " it added.
The ministry further said that, "the vero cells are completely destroyed in the process of viral growth. Thereafter this grown virus is also killed (inactivated) and purified. This killed virus is then used to make the final vaccine, and in the final vaccine formulation no calf serum is used."
"Hence, the final vaccine (COVAXIN) does not contain newborn calf serum at all and the calf serum is not an ingredient of the final vaccine product," it concluded.
Recently, twitter was flooed with several posts claiming "new born calf serum is used in revival process of vero cells which is used for the production of coronavirus during the manufacturing of Covaxin bulk vaccine".
The news has created quite a flutter, with many railing against the vaccine maker Bharat Biotech and the Indian government.
COVAXIN contains the newborn calf serum
Facts have been misrepresented. The calf serum is not an ingredient of the final vaccine product