Indian gov't expert panel approves SII's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Saturday, 2021-01-02 11:56:58
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Students wearing face masks attend class at a school in Bangalore, India, Jan. 1, 2021. The southern state of Karnataka on Friday opened schools for students of grade 10 and 12 after a gap of more than nine months. (Source: Xinhua)
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An expert panel appointed by the Indian government Friday recommended Oxford COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) be granted emergency use authorisation, local media reported.

The approval by the subject expert committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) paves the way for mass immunisation in the country.

"The Oxford COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by SII will be sent for final approval to the regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI)," a local media report said.

The recommendation was given when the panel met to decide on the applications by SII and Bharat Biotech for emergency use authorization of their vaccines.

SII is making the vaccine Covishield developed by Oxford University and pharma major AstraZeneca, while Bharat Biotech has partnered with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for its Covaxin.

The federal government is looking forward to initiating inoculation from this month, once the vaccine is cleared by the DCGI.

A dry run (mock drill) for vaccination is scheduled on Saturday.

India plans to inoculate 300 million people in the next six to eight months.