Episode 81: The Vaccine Trial Controversy

Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Two nights a week on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight I’m considering this question — what is the real harm from the government trying to speed up a new vaccine?

Balram Bhargava’s letter to trial sites is as below.

The ICMR’s clarification is here.

Dr Anant Bhan’s Twitter is here.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan’s comments on trial size and timelines that Dr Bhan alluded to are here.

It’s this tendency to attack anyone raising questions that really worries me the most, not just because of how unfair it is on those asking questions, but also because it demonstrates an inability to accept criticism or even failure — and I can’t think of a worse note for a vaccine trial to start on than that.

Thank you for listening. This episode was edited by Anand Krishnamoorthi. Tomorrow — a new question.



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