Approval to vaccines 'turning point' in India's fight against COVID-19: Niti Aayog
Terming the approval given to two coronavirus vaccines for emergency use as a "turning point" in India's fight against COVID-19, Niti Aayog member V K Paul on Sunday said the speed with which scientists and the industry came together to meet this challenge epitomised the spirit and potential of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'.
India's drug regulator DCGI on Sunday approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin, of Bharat Biotech, for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.
"Today is a turning point in India's fight against COVID-19 as two Made-in-India vaccines get approval for emergency use," the Niti Aayog said in a tweet quoting Paul, also the Chairman of National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration.
"The speed with which our scientists and industry came together to meet this challenge epitomises the spirit and potential of Aatmanirbhar Bharat," it added.
The approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) was given on the basis of recommendations submitted by a COVID-19 subject expert committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
"After adequate examination, CDSCO has decided to accept the recommendations of the Expert Committee and accordingly, vaccines of M/s Serum and M/s Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situation," DCGI Dr V G Somani said.
This paves the way for the roll out of at least two vaccines in India in the coming days.
The Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, has tied up with AstraZeneca to manufacture Covishield.
Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Serum Institute of India's CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted, "Happy new year, everyone! All the risks Serum Institute of India took with stockpiling the vaccine, have finally paid off. COVISHIELD, India's first COVID-19 vaccine is approved, safe, effective and ready to roll-out in the coming weeks.