Pune-Based Serum Institute May Get Approval For Emergency Use Of Corona Vaccine 

Adar Poonawalla COVISHIELD
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Friyana Munshi

New Delhi, January 1, 2021: Subject Expert Panel has submitted its recommendations to the Central Government which will be the first vaccine of Corona in the country. The panel recommended granting conditional approval for the Serum Institute of India’s Corona vaccine Covishield.

It is now expected to get approval from the Drugs Controller General of India i.e. DCGI soon. Earlier media reports had claimed that Covaxin of Bharat Biotech has also been approved by the committee, but no official statement has been made on it yet.

Three companies have sought approval so far

Serum Institute of India (SII), Bharat Biotech and Pfizer have applied for emergency use approval in the country. The Serum Institute is producing a vaccine named Covishield. It has been developed jointly by Oxford University and pharma company AstraZeneca. Apart from the Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech, which manufactures indigenous vaccine Covaxin, made a presentation before the panel on Wednesday. At the same time, American company Pfizer has asked for more time to present its data. However, Pfizer has been approved by the WHO for emergency use a day earlier.

Dry run of vaccine across the country from tomorrow

After approval from the expert panel, the applications of the companies will go to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for final approval. The government is preparing to start vaccination from this month. For this, a vaccine dry run will be done across the country tomorrow i.e. on January 2.

Earlier on Thursday, Drug Controller General Dr VG Somani had said that the new year will be happy for us because then we will have something in our hands. It is believed that soon a vaccine may be approved. India is the second-largest country in the world affected by Corona after America. The government has planned to vaccinate 300 million people in the next six to eight months.

Covishield cheapest vaccine

Oxford’s CoviShield vaccine is the government’s biggest hope because it is affordable. The company says that it will first focus on its domestic market. It will then be exported to South Asian countries and Africa.

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII, the world’s largest vaccine-making company, said on Monday that nearly five crore doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had already been prepared. There are plans to make 10 crore doses by March next year and 30 crore by June.

Harshvardhan said need to prepare like election

Health Minister Dr Harshvardhan reviewed the preparations for the dry run with the Delhi government on Friday. In this, he said that the companies have applied to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and experts for approval of the vaccine. Their data is being closely studied. A list of health workers has been made for vaccination. It will be uploaded on the Covin platform.

He said that as we prepare for elections, the members of the medical team also need to be trained. Therefore, after training more than 2,000 master trainers at the national level, training programs are going on in more than 700 districts.

Emergency use approved in these countries

1.) In the US, Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine has received emergency use approval.

2.) The UK has approved the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. Vaccination process is currently underway.

3.) China has recently approved the vaccine of indigenous company Sinopharm with certain conditions.

4.) Mass vaccination has also been introduced in Russia through indigenous vaccine Sputnik V.

5.) Canada has approved the vaccines of Pfizer and BioNotech.