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India Covaxin: Some Bhopal slum residents thought they had been being vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19 however had been a part of scientific trials

Locals who recalled hearing it back in December said they scrambled to take up the offer — 750 rupees was about twice what they’d usually earn for a day’s hard labor. And many had struggled to work at all during the pandemic.

“They told us it is the corona vaccine and we should get it so that we don’t fall sick,” said Yashoda Bai Yadav, a housewife from Bhopal who participated in the trial alongside her husband.

The Covaxin Phase 3 study, sponsored by the vaccine’s developers, Indian biotech company Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), involves almost 26,000 people at 26 locations, including more than 1,700 in Bhopal, the site of one of the world’s worst industrial disasters.

The Shankar Nagar slum — where many of the participants live — is just 3.7km (2.3 miles) from the abandoned Union Carbide factory which was at the center of the 1984 disaster that exposed more than half a million people to a toxic gas cloud. Nearly 4,000 people died in…