The fact sheet released by the Serum Institute of India has not mentioned that the animal products were used to develop the Covidshield vaccine.
Microorganisms for vaccine manufacture are grown under controlled conditions in the media, which provide the nutrients necessary for growth. FBS is harvested from bovine fetuses taken from pregnant cows during slaughter. It is commonly extracted through a cardiac puncture without anesthesia.
Cow elements (Fetal bovine serum) is a common ingredient of animal cell culture is a crucial building block to develop many vaccines. However, the animal extract (FBS) process is not followed by the Serum Institute of India for the Covidshield vaccine.
Since January 2021, several social media posts claimed that India's Covishield vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University uses cow components such as fetal bovine serum (FBS) to produce the vaccine.
The vaccine manufacturer, Serum Institute of India (SII), on January 1, 2021, published its 'Fact Sheet' where the ingredients used for the Covidshield vaccine were mentioned. The components include L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), Water for injection. Also, there is no animal-origin extract used in the Covidshield vaccine.
Therefore, the Covishield vaccine has also received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for restricted emergency use in individuals 18 years of age and older.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.