A gentle push over the cliff

From ‘Rotavirus vaccine: tortured data analyses raise false safety alarm’, The Hindu, June 22, 2024: Slamming the recently published paper by Dr. Jacob Puliyel from the International Institute of Health Management Research, New Delhi, on rotavirus vaccine safety, microbiologist Dr. Gagandeep Kang says: “If you do 20 different analyses, one of them will appear significant. … Read more

The BHU Covaxin study and ICMR bait

Earlier this month, a study by a team at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi concluded that fully 1% of Covaxin recipients may suffer severe adverse events. One percent is a large number because the multiplier (x in 1/100 * x) is very large — several million people. The study first hit the headlines for … Read more

On Agnihotri’s Covaxin film, defamation, and false bravery

Vivek Agnihotri’s next film, The Vaccine War, is set to be released on September 28. It is purportedly about the making of Covaxin, the COVID-19 vaccine made by Bharat Biotech, and claims to be based on real events. Based on watching the film’s trailer and snippets shared on Twitter, I can confidently state that while … Read more

The biopolitics of Covaxin

In a new investigation, STAT has reported fresh problems with Covaxin’s approval process in India, including the phase 2 trial dropping its placebo arm in favour of one preordained to make Covaxin look good and Bharat Biotech – the maker – commencing phase 3 trials based on results from animal studies. I’m also filing the report … Read more

Bharat Biotech gets 1/10 for tweet

If I had been Bharat Biotech’s teacher and “Where is your data?” had been an examination question, Bharat Biotech would have received 1 out of 10 marks. The correct answer to where is your data can take one of two forms: either an update in the form of where the data is in the data-processing … Read more

India’s missing research papers

If you’re looking for a quantification (although you shouldn’t) of the extent to which science is being conducted by press releases in India at the moment, consider the following list of studies. The papers for none of them have been published – as preprints or ‘post-prints’ – even as the people behind them, including many … Read more