The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday refuted some social media posts on the composition of Covaxin , where it has been suggested that it contains newborn calf serum. It said that newborn calf serum was used only for the preparation/ growth of vero cells. The final vaccine did not contain newborn calf serum, it asserted.
A release issued by the Ministry stated that facts have been twisted and misrepresented in these posts.
“Different kinds of bovine and other animal serum are standard enrichment ingredient used globally for vero cell growth. Vero cells are used to help in production of vaccines. This technique has been used for decades in Polio, Rabies, and Influenza vaccines,” said the release.
Vero cells, after the growth, were washed with water and chemicals (also technically known as buffer) many times to make them free from newborn calf serum. Thereafter, they were infected with corona virus for viral growth and completely destroyed in the process. Thereafter, the grown virus was also killed (inactivated) and purified. This killed virus was then used to make the final vaccine, and in the final vaccine formulation, no calf serum was used, the Ministry noted.