CoWIN certificates omit PM Modi’s photo amid Covishield concerns?

For months, CoWIN certificates prominently featured PM Modi's photo alongside a quote pledging India's victory over Covid-19.

Top Indian News Desk
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Courtesy: CoWIN

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photograph from CoWIN certificates issued for Covid-19 vaccinations. This move comes amidst growing concerns over the potential cardiac arrest-causing side effects associated with Covishield, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine produced in India.

A Symbolic Change

For months, CoWIN certificates prominently featured PM Modi's photo alongside a quote pledging India's victory over Covid-19. However, in a recent update, his image has been omitted while the quote remains attributed to him. This change was brought to light by vigilant social media users, marking a symbolic shift in vaccination documentation.

Covishield Controversy

The decision to remove PM Modi's photo coincides with revelations made by AstraZeneca regarding rare blood clotting conditions linked to its Covid vaccine. This admission emerged during legal proceedings, igniting concerns worldwide about the vaccine's safety. In India, the revelation has sparked a wave of uncertainty, with many questioning the potential risk of thrombosis and associated health complications.

Evolving Response

According to a report by The Hindu, this isn't the first time PM Modi's photo has been removed from official documents during sensitive periods. Ahead of state assembly elections and in compliance with the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), his images were temporarily taken down from government websites. Similarly, during the MCC period, certain states omitted his photo from CoWIN certificates.

Public Awareness and Safety

The inclusion of PM Modi's photo on vaccination certificates was initially intended to bolster public awareness and promote Covid-appropriate behaviour. However, the recent shift underscores the evolving nature of India's vaccination strategy in response to emerging health concerns. The government's decision reflects a commitment to transparency and public safety amidst ongoing vaccine scrutiny.

As India navigates the complexities of its vaccination campaign, the removal of PM Modi's photo from CoWIN certificates signals a broader reassessment of messaging and communication strategies. With the nation's health at the forefront, policymakers continue to adapt to changing circumstances, prioritising the well-being of citizens above all else.