India Approves Emergency Use of Two Covid Vaccines as Cases Soar

India Approves Emergency Use of Two Covid Vaccines as Cases Soar. image: Mumbai Health Services

India Approves Emergency Use of Two Covid Vaccines as Cases Soar.

India has authorised the emergency use of two coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and by local pharmaceutical firm Bharat Biotech, the country’s drug regulator said on Sunday (Jan 3). “The vaccines of Serum Institute (AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine) and Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situations,” the Drugs Controller General of India, VG Somani, said at a briefing.

The announcement of India’s approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine came days after the regulators in Britain gave their nod to the vaccine and marked a big step forward for the world’s second worst-affected country by the coronavirus pandemic. India aims to administer the vaccine to 300 million people in the first phase and the rollout could begin in the coming days.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, known as Covishield in India, is being produced locally by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. It has stockpiled 40-50 million doses and plans to produce 300 million doses by July. It’s billionaire owner, Adar Poonawalla, has pledged 50 per cent of its production for India. On Sunday, Poonawalla said on Twitter that his company’s risks “paid off” and the vaccine is “ready to roll out.”


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Tony Winterburn

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