India approves AstraZeneca, locally made coronavirus vaccines

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Drugs Controller General Dr. Venugopal G. Somani said that both vaccines would be administered in two dosages. He said the decision to approve the vaccines was made after “careful examination” by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, India’s pharmaceutical regulator.

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

“It would make every Indian proud that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval are made in India!” Modi tweeted.

AstraZeneca has contracted Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, to make 1 billion doses of its vaccine for developing nations, including India. On Wednesday, Britain became the first country to approve the shot.

But questions have been raised by health experts over the vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech. They point out that clinical trials began only recently, making it almost impossible for the firm to have analyzed and submitted data showing that its shots are effective in preventing illness from the coronavirus.

Although Serum Institute of India doesn’t have a written agreement with the Indian government, its chief executive, Adar Poonawalla, 珠海桑拿网said India would be “given priority” and would receive most of its stockpile of around 50 million doses.

Partial results from studies for the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in almost 24,000 people in Britain, Brazil and South Africa suggest that the vaccine is safe and about 70% effective. That isn’t as good as some other vaccine candidates, and there are also concerns about how well the vaccine will protect older people.

The other vaccine, known as COVAXIN, is developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with government agencies and is based on an inactivated form of the coronavirus. Early clinical studies showed that the vaccine doesn’t have any serious side 南昌桑拿网effects and produces antibodies for COVID-19. But late clinical trials began in mid-November. The second shot was to be given 28 days after the first, and an immune response prompted two weeks later.

The Health Ministry said in a statement that permission was granted for Bharat Biotech’s shot for restricted use in the “public interest as an abundant precaution in clinical trial mode, especially in the context of infection by mutant strains.”

But Kang said that the claim that the vaccine could help against a mutant variant of the virus was “hypothetical” and without any evidence.