India Approves Two COVID-19 Vaccines for Emergency Use

India has formally approved two COVID-19 vaccines for emergency authorization on Jan. 3 as the second most populous country prepares for one of the world’s largest vaccination programs.

India has formally approved two COVID-19 vaccines for emergency authorization on Jan. 3 as the second most populous country prepares for one of the world’s largest vaccination programs.

The drugs regulatory authority of India authorized the vaccine developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca and another by local biotechnology company Bharat Biotech for emergency use.

At a news conference in New Delhi, Drugs Controller General Dr. Venugopal G. Somani announced that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization approved the vaccines after “careful examination.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the approval as “decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight.”

India plans to vaccinate around 300 million people listed as a priority this year.

Last Jan. 2, it held drills across the country to prepare over 90,000 medical workers to administer the vaccines in the South Asian country that has a population of 1.3 billion.

Modi stated in a tweet, “It is a matter of pride that the two vaccines that have been approved for emergency use are both made in India. This reflects the will of our scientific community to fulfill the dream of a self-reliant India.”

British-Swedish biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has contracted Serum Institute of India as its partner to manufacture one billion doses of its vaccine for developing countries, which includes India.

India is also considering to approve other vaccines, such as the one developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and the Sputnik V developed by Russia.

India has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world with over 10.3 million cases, coming after the United States. India also has recorded 149,435 COVID-19 deaths.


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