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No newborn calf serum in Covaxin: Ministry

No newborn calf serum in Covaxin: Ministry

New Delhi: The Central government on Wednesday refuted rumours on social media that Covaxin manufactured by Bharat Biotech contains newborn calf serum.

"There have been some social media posts regarding the composition of the Covaxin vaccine where it has been suggested that it contains the newborn calf serum. Facts have been twisted and misrepresented in these posts," said the Ministry.

"Newborn Calf Serum is used only for preparation or growth of vero cells," the Ministry clarified.

Different bovine and animal serum are standard enrichment ingredient used globally for vero cell growth. The vero cells, in turn, are used to establish cell lives which then help in the production of vaccine. This technique has been used for decades in Polio, Rabies and Influenza vaccines.

After growth, vero cells are washed with water and chemicals to get rid of the serum and then infected with coronavirus for viral growth.

"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," the Ministry explained.

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