Bhopal man dies 10 days after participating in Covaxin vaccine trial, MP govt initiates probe into ‘poisoning’

Bhopal: In a shocking development amid the Centre’s efforts to provide a potential cure to citizens against the deadly Covid-19 virus, a man from Madhya Pradesh reportedly died after participating in the ‘Covaxin’ vaccination trial in December.

The 42-year-old volunteer from Bhopal died barely 10 days after he had participated in the clinical trial for the vaccine at a private hospital, its vice chancellor said on Saturday.

Dr Rajesh Kapur, Vice Chancellor of the People’s Medical College and Hospital, told news agency PTI that Deepak Marawi had volunteered for the Covaxin trial held on 12 December 2020.

However, Madhya Pradesh Medico Legal Institute Director Dr Ashok Sharma claimed that the doctor who performed the post-mortem of the deceased suspected ‘poisoning’ as the cause of death.

“After Marawi’s death on December 21, we informed the Drug Controller General of India and Bharat Biotech, which is the producer and sponsor of the trial. All protocols were followed and Marawi’s consent was taken before allowing him to participate in the trial,” Kapur said.

Kapur, though, cannot confirm whether Marawi was given the vaccine or a placebo.

“It (the vial containing the liquid for trial) comes covered and coded. During the trial, 50 per cent people get the actual injection while the rest are given saline,” he stated.

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