Headlines January 3, 2021
Oxford Covid vaccine cleared for use in India
The Oxford COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SFI) will be sent for approval to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) by a panel of experts appointed by the government.
The SFI is making the vaccine which is called Covishield developed by Oxford University and pharma company AstraZeneca. Bharat Biotech has partnered with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) the vaccine Covaxin.
Pfizer has asked for more time to present their data to the panel of experts.
The Centre plans to start giving vaccine shots from this month, once the vaccine is cleared for a final time. A dry run for vaccination is scheduled in all the states on Saturday.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is analysing the dry run in the national capital. “The preparations are like general elections, where even the booth-level preparations are made. The purpose of the dry run is to be ready for the actual rollout… Potential recipients of vaccine will be informed via SMS. Frontline workers are the priority. After inoculation, digital certificate will also be provided,” he said.
The expert panel recommending the affordable Oxford vaccine to the drugs regulator is a big development for India in the fight against the pandemic.
SII chief executive Adar Poonawalla has said the company has made some 50 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and plans to roll out at least a 100 million shots by March.
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