A viral image of a Bharat Biotech employee getting a blood test is viral with false claims that it shows Vice President of Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) has taken the first dose of its Covaxin vaccine to show confidence in its product. The pharmaceutical company, has in a statement, denied the claim and said the image shows a routine blood test.
Bharat Biotech's Covaxin is the first Indian vaccine to receive approval to conduct Phase I/Phase II trials. The vaccine has been prepared in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology. The ICMR has announced that it plans to launch this vaccine nationwide by Independence Day.
The image of a man and a medical professional is viral on social media. BOOM received the image on its WhatsApp helpline with a claim that reads "Dr V. K.Srinivas , Vice President, Bharat biotech, taking Corona vaccine.... clinical trial. Immediately after taking the first dose he said that he is the first person in India to take vaccine developed by him and his team in Bharat Biotech. Look at the confidence that they have in their product.
The image is also viral on Facebook. View the archive here.
In a statement tweeted by Bharat Biotech and sent to BOOM, the company has rubbished the claim though has not identified the person seen in the viral picture.
The pharma company and the vaccine have been continuously in the news since an announcement on June 30, that the vaccine developed by them was approved for Phase I/II trials.
On enhancing the image, BOOM found that the logo on the female health worker's lab coat reads as Bharat Biotech confirming that this was clicked at the pharmaceutical.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Bharat Biotech said the photo does not show the vaccine being administered but is a routine blood check that staff members underwent. The statement said the photo shows a "member of the production team."
BOOM also searched for VK Srinivas as Vice President for Bharat Biotech and did not find any results. We found a V Krishna Mohan, Executive director and a T Srinivas, the Chief Financial Officer in the Management team of the pharmaceutical.
Bharat Biotech's collaboration with the ICMR and the beginning of the Phase I/Phase II trials comes at a time when India has been reporting over 20,000 positive cases.
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