India’s health authorities have approved the emergency use of two COVID-19 vaccines, India Today has learned.
India, second-most populated countries in the world, is ready to roll out the mass vaccination. The first vaccine approvals were given by the national drug regulator this week.
The recently approved vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, as well as by the Indian pharm concern Bharat Biotech in cooperation with a state-run institute.
In the light of the latest approval, India expected to start a massive inoculation programme within about a week. According to the health officials, 300 million of its 1.35 billion people will be vaccinated against the coronavirus in the first six to eight months of this year. The medical procedure is free of charge.
India welcomes new vaccines against COVID-19
India’s prime minister Narendra Modi welcomed the approvals. “It would make every Indian proud that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval are made in India!” he wrote on Twitter.
The Drugs Controller General of India V.G. Somani said the overall efficacy of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine was 70.42%, while Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN was “safe and provides a robust immune response”.