India OKs AstraZeneca and locally made COVID-19 vaccines

COVID vaccines 110 pc safe: DCGI chief

The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, manufactured in India by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India, is named Covishield, while the home-grown vaccine developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech jointly with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is called Covaxin.

Britain has been at the forefront of approving the new coronavirus vaccines, becoming the first country to give emergency authorisation to the Pfizer/BioNTech and the AstraZeneca/University of Oxford vaccines last month.

The overall efficacy of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine was 70.42 per cent, while Bharat Biotech's Covaxin was "safe and provides a robust immune response", said Drugs Controller General of India VG Somani.

Unlike the British-Swedish shot, Sputnik V is based on the use of adenovirus vector technology for vector vaccines, which has been gaining momentum since the 1980s, and has repeatedly proved to be safe and effective in multiple surveys. Some side effects like mild fever, pain & allergy are common for every vaccine.

Congratulating the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "A decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight!" She tweeted, "Approval to indigenously made vaccines is a watershed moment in our fight against COVID-19 virus & a defining chapter in our journey towards building an #AatmaNirbharBharat. Congratulations India. Congratulations to our hardworking scientists and innovators", PM Modi tweeted.

An Indian government expert panel has approved the vaccine jointly developed by UK-Swedish biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University for emergency use in the country to immunise citizens against the coronavirus infection.

"This shows the eagerness of our scientific community to fulfil the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, at the root of which is care and compassion", he said, congratulating the nation, scientists and innovators.

The Phase III human clinical trials of Covaxin began mid-November, targeted to be done in 26,000 volunteers and it is the country's first and only Phase III efficacy study for a COVID-19 vaccine, a press release from the vaccine maker said on Saturday night.

Tahir Qadiry, Afghan Charge d'Affaires hailed India's decision to grant emergency use to Serum Institute of India for their COVID-19 vaccine, named Covishield. "A request to the Central government is that along with all the health workers, if the extremely poor people get the vaccine free of cost, then it will be appropriate". So you have these two components in the inactivated vaccine.

Meanwhile, Indian regulators stated that they are still considering approvals for other vaccines.

India's regulator has also received an emergency-use application for the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech - the first shot to secure regulatory approval in the West. Another, Russia's Sputnik V, appears to be less far along.