With New Year knocking at the door, India is all set to roll out a vaccine against the novel coronavirus. Sources say that India is likely to approve Oxford/AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use by next week after Pune-based Serum Institute (its local manufacturer) submitted additional data sought by authorities.
India then may become the first country to give nod for the British drugmaker’s vaccine, even before the UK government, since the British medicine regulator continues to examine data from the trials.
In the initial phase, India will start inoculating its frontline workers and it is also considering emergency use authorisation applications for vaccine made by Pfizer Inc and the vaccine being rolled out by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech.
Authorities are still waiting for more details from Pfizer & Bharat Biotech.
The approval of Oxford’s vaccine may be based on the data from AstraZeneca’s late-stage trials in the UK and Brazil released earlier this month which showed the vaccine had efficacy of 62 per cent for trial participants given two full doses, but 90 per cent for a smaller sub-group given a half, then a full dose.
The Astrazeneca vaccine is an adenoviral vaccine and is considered optimal for countries like India because they can bear the hot climates and are cheaper, easier to transport and can be stored for long periods at normal refrigerated temperatures.
Whenever India receives the vaccine, it will be a big step in the battle against the pandemic, as India is a populous country with one of the highest infection rates.
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