New Delhi: An image, supposedly of a top vaccine scientist involved with the Covaxin project, is doing the rounds on social media. The image shows Chandra Ballabh Benjwal, a vaccine scientist working at Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Corp. Ltd., in a hospital bed.
Chandra was, indeed, working for the public sector company in a senior position. The PSU is manufacturing Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine doses. However, it’s not same as Bharat Biotech, a private firm that developed Covaxin along with ICMR.
Chandra has been termed as ‘chief of Covaxin project’ in the forwarded article. This means that he was involved in the production of vaccine at the PSU, but was not one of the developers.
According to a post by his daughter Aishwarya Benjwal on Milaap, Chandra was working day and night to start COVID-19 vaccine production at his company.
He had previously worked on polio and cholera vaccines, according to the same post.
Chandra’s lungs were 90 per cent infected due to COVID-19, and this ultimately led to mucormycosis (black fungus) setting in.
The medical expenses had taken a toll on the family and crowd-funding helped raise a little over Rs 30 lakh. His daughter had termed him “vaccine man”.
Chandra, sadly, passed away on Sunday.