Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin get final approval by Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) will be India's first vaccines
Days after the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) fave clearance for the Covishield developed by Oxford University and pharma major AstraZeneca, the Covaxin is also cleared by the panel. Now it is only one step ahead for the final clearance for the two vaccines in the country - Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approval.
SII had applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for EUA for Oxford COVID-19 vaccine on December 6, while the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech had sought the nod for its indigenously developed Covaxin on December 7.
The DCGI is scheduled to address the media at 11 am Sunday. If everything goes as expected, the vaccination is likely to start in the country by Wednesday. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar while speaking to reporters on Saturday, mentioned that 'India is perhaps the only country where at least four vaccines are getting ready'. The Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D and Russia's Sputnik-V are expected to get clearance soon.
Serum Institute’s vaccine will be the main vaccine. Bharat Biotech’s vaccine is a backup for an emergency situation, which may happen if there is a sudden surge in cases or reinfection as per Dr. Randeep Guleria, AIIMS Director.
The Bharat Biotech vaccine is based on an inactivated virus platform, one of the oldest known methods to develop an inoculation. This technique has been used historically for several other diseases including Hepatitis A, Influenza, Polio, and Rabies.
Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate – globally known as AZD1222 – remains India’s strongest contender to facilitate the immunisation of tens of thousands of people. The Serum Institute of India representatives have said that already have 40-50 million doses ready for India
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also stressed that there would be no compromise on any protocol while approving the vaccine. Vardhan appealed to people on Saturday not to be misguided by "rumors" regarding the safety and efficacy of the coronavirus vaccine and said the most prioritized beneficiaries would be vaccinated for free.