In their hate for PM Narendra Modi and as an effort to undermine Bharat’s abilities in handling the pandemic, Congress has started spreading misinformation about vaccines. Congress IT cell workers started spreading a rumour that the indigenous vaccine Covaxin contains calf serum. The party’s IT cell leader Gaurav Pandhi shared an RTI reply from the government about the ingredients of Covaxin, saying it contains Newborn Calf Serum(NBCS).
He tried to rake up religious sentiments by saying that the newborn calves are slaughtered to obtain NBCS and that “BJP Govt should not betray the faith and belief of people” implying that the centre is hiding this information from Hindus. Many social media influencers shared the RTI reply claiming similar things to discourage Hindus from taking the vaccine. This also gave way to questions on whether other vaccines such as Covishield also contain NBCS amd further increased the possibility of hesitancy.
BJP Govt should NOT betray the faith & belief of people, if Covaxin or any other vaccine consists of cow-calf serum, then people have the right to know.
Vaccines are the life line today and everyone must get vaccinated (as & when available) keeping faiths & beliefs aside. 💉 pic.twitter.com/Khplk3iOb6
— Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) June 16, 2021
However the Ministry of Health and Welfare(MoHW) has issued a clarification on whether the vaccine itself contains calf serum. As per MoHW’s statement, “Newborn calf serum is used only for the preparation and growth of vero cells. Serum from bovine and other animals are standard enrichment ingredient used globally for vero cell growth.”
The statement explained how vaccines are developed and NBCS’s trace removed from them. It said “Vero cells are used to establish cell lives which help in the production of vaccines. This technique has been used for decades in developing vaccines against polio, rabies, and influenza. After growth, the vero cells are washed in water and with chemicals, also technically known as buffers, multiple times to make them free from newborn calf serum.”
The vero cells are then infected with the virus and in the process of viral growth the cells are completely destroyed. Then the grown virus is inactivated and purified and used to make the final vaccine as per the statement. The process of obtaining the serum used to be a bloody and cruel process and is said to have become better with the development of technology. Scientists say that even though it used to be a fatal procedure in the past, nowadays, an invasive procedure with minimal impact on the well being of the calf is used.
But the serum itself is used only for the purpose of growing the cells that can accomodate the virus. The procedures following the infection of the cell with the virus ensure that there is no trace of calf serum left. In trying to undermine the efforts of the centre, Congress has actually given fodder to evangelistic fanatics who are the root cause of vaccine hesitancy all over the world.
Christian portals have picked up on Congress’ misinformation campaign against the vaccines to set a narrative that Hindu beliefs are a cause of vaccine hesitancy. Catholic news portal, UCA News reported the series of incidents with a title “Religiously sensitive cow hits India’s vaccine drive“. However it forgot to mention how evangelists like Sadhu Sundar spread canards about the vaccines saying that they contain Satan, even before they came for public use.
Similarly Eastern Zion Healing Ministry in Nagaland, a Christian majority state, issued a prophecy saying, “The COVID-19 mass vaccination… is not the will of God, for which all believers are told not to take it. Through the vaccination, the mark of the ‘beast’ will come“. There have been reports of ‘prayer warriors’ spreading fear about vaccines in the North East part of Bharat. They have been quoting the 13th verse in the Book of Revelation which says, ‘the ‘beast’ will leave his mark on the arms of every human and that will mark the beginning of the devil’s reign on earth’.
In Meghalaya only 1.9% of the total population has taken both shots. In Nagaland where vaccines were touted to be the ‘mark of the beast’, only 2.5% of the total population has been fully vaccinated. Similarly another NE state Manipur has vaccinated a little over 2% of its population. Most of this 2% is said to be Hindus of the Imphal valley. As per the available information, only 1.1% from Christian dominated hill districts of Manipur have been fully vaccinated.
Despite having this kind of reputation Christian portals dare to run propaganda that Hindu beliefs set back Bharat’s vaccination drive. It is pertinent to remember that colonial slaves were seen spreading hatred against Brahmins for getting vaccinated alleging that they are given preference in the process. Some of them even claimed that Brahmins will discourage others from utilising such resources and suggest gau mutra, cow dung, etc as remedies. However it’s Congress that slaughtered a cow in public view in Kerala, but has found sudden love for cows and Hindu beliefs.
(Featured Image Source: Business Today)
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