India to approve Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine after UK’s nod
Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine: After UK approved Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, India is likely to have its vaccine soon
Britain’s approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use has given new hopes to India’s efforts to fight the rising cases in the country. As per media reports, Indian regulators are expected to hold further meetings in the coming days to review the inoculation programme, as the country deals with the worst wave of Coronavirus infections.
During the meeting, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) will be evaluating the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) request and data submitted by the Serum Institute of India (SII), Bharat Biotech, and Pfizer with regards to their vaccine candidates. The SEC will also review the vaccine data that was considered by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in its approval for Oxford-AstraZeneca’s candidate.
Serum Institute has already manufactured about 50 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on at-risk funding and has intensified its production in light of this development. It is also waiting for regulatory approval for the vaccine from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).
Hailing the approval of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the UK as encouraging news, the Pune-based company said that the company is now waiting for the Indian regulator’s approval for the emergency use of its vaccine.
Serum Institute’s vaccine candidate “Covishield” is reported to be cheaper and easier to transport and store. On the other hand, Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine is needed to be stored at minus 70° while Moderna’s requires minus 20°. At the same time, they cost more than the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine.
This development has come at a when India has reported more than 20 cases of the new COVID-19 strain that was found in the United Kingdom. Amid alarming concerns over the contagious strain, the Union government has extended the temporary ban on international flights coming from the UK.
Speaking to news agency ANI, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria also affirmed that India will have its COVID-19 vaccine in the coming days, adding that the Serum Institute has provided sufficient data on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to combat the Coronavirus.
“Once the data is shown to the regulatory authority, we should get approval for the vaccine in the county within a few days,” Guleria told ANI.
Meanwhile, the Union government is preparing its priority list for recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine. In the first phase, the Centre aims to vaccinate at least 300 million people in high-risk of the disease by July 2021.