Home > News > Oxford Covid vaccine set to become first to get approval in India: Report | India News

Oxford Covid vaccine set to become first to get approval in India: Report | India News


NEW DELHI: India is set to mark the New Year’s Day by giving its first-ever approval to a coronavirus vaccine.
The expert panel is likely to approve the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University for emergency use on Friday, Reuters reported quoting sources. If approved, India will become the third country after the United Kingdom and Argentina to give the go-ahead to the vaccine.
The decision would also pave the way for the vaccine’s rollout in the world’s second-most populous country which, after the United States, has the highest number of Covid-19 infections in the world.
The Serum Institute of India, the local manufacturer of the vaccine, has already stockpiled nearly 50 million doses and a majority of them will be administered to India.
One of the sources said the shots could start to be transported from cold storage to Indian states as early as Saturday.
Sources told Reuters that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), whose experts were meeting for the second time this week, could also approve a vaccine locally developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
“Both AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech will get approval today,” said one of the sources. “All preparations are on with today’s date in mind.”
The government said on Wednesday that Pfizer Inc had sought more time to present data for emergency authorisation of a vaccine it has developed with Germany’s BioNTech.
Earlier today, the Serum Institute concluded its presentation before the 10-member Subject Expert Committee of the Drug Regulator for the approval of its coronavirus vaccine.
The drug regulator had indicated that the vaccine approval may come through in the New Year.
The UK-based Oxford vaccine has been considered as the frontrunner in India’s quest for vaccines.
Unlike vaccines from other candidates like Pfizer and Moderna, Covishield does not have to be stored in freezing conditions and requires storage at domestic fridge temperatures (2 to 8 degrees Celsius).
The vaccine also holds a cost advantage over others and is likely to be priced well under Rs 1,000 for two mandatory dosages, both the company and government sources have indicated.
The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine’s overall efficacy in preventing symptomatic infections was 70.4%, compared with the 95% efficacy of the shot from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.
Single-dose efficacy was pegged at 52.7%, Britain said on Wednesday, in guidance to health workers, though a UK medical adviser also said that one AstraZeneca dose should be 70% effective after three weeks.

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