Expert panel okays emergency use of Covishield in India


New Delhi: The Subject Expert Committee of Central Drug Standard Control Organisation has approved emergency use of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s ‘Covishield’ vaccine.

The final approval, however, rests with the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), V.G. Somani. The health ministry reports said the decision on Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is still pending at the meeting.

The Serum Institute, based at Pune, has partnered with Oxford-AstraZeneca for conducting clinical trials and manufacturing ‘Covishield’. The Bharat Biotech has collaborated with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to prepare ‘Covaxin’.

Earlier, the DCGI has said that India awaits for a  coronavirus vaccine with bated breath as the country must celebrate a happy new year with an effective vaccine for the dreaded disease.

The meeting comes a day before dry-run schedule to commence in all the states and Union Territories.

Nearly 30 crore people will be vaccinated in the first phase. In all, one crore healthcare workers, 2 crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crores elderly will be administered with the vaccine.

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