Meeting on Covid vaccine in India ahead of dry run to be held on Friday

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jan 01, 2021, 10:02 AM(IST)

Coronavirus vaccine in India Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

India, which has the world's second-highest number of COVID-19 infections in the world after the United States, plans to inoculate 30 crore people in the next six to eight months and the affordable Oxford vaccine is its biggest hope.

Applications for the emergency use approval for the coronavirus vaccines filed by the Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech and Pfizer will be taken up on Friday for consideration by a government-appointed panel of experts.

The important meeting comes a day before the dry run for vaccination will be carried out in all states. 

The SII is manufacturing 'Covishield' vaccine developed by Oxford University and pharma industry major AstraZeneca. Bharat Biotech partnered with the Indian Council of Medical Research to produce 'Covaxin', and Pfizer have sought more time to present its data.

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) in the CDSCO had earlier met to consider the emergency use authorisation (EUA) request of Pfizer, Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech Pvt Ltd.

After the expert panel gives nod to the vaccines, the applications will be reviewed by the Drugs Controller General of India for final approval. 

The government is aiming to start the vaccination drive this month.

India, which has the world's second-highest number of COVID-19 infections in the world after the United States, plans to inoculate 30 crore people in the next six to eight months and the affordable Oxford vaccine is its biggest hope.

Like the Pfizer-BioNTech jabs, Covishield is similar in requiring two doses but is easier to deliver as it does not need extremely low temperatures for storage. It is also cheap and easy to mass-produce.

Earlier in this week, the UK approved the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine for human use, the second coronavirus vaccine to be cleared for rollout in Britain after the Pfizer-BioNTech jabs.

(with inputs from agencies)

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