Covaxin gets expert panel nod; Centre confirms Oxford vaccine also approved

The other two vaccines awaiting approval are Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D and Russia's Sputnik-V

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The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) approved the Bharat Biotech vaccine Covaxin on Saturday (January 2). This is the second vaccine to be approved by the committee, a day after Covishield, developed by  Oxford University and AstraZeneca was approved.

Information and Broadcast Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday confirmed that Covishield has obtained the committee’s approval. “India is perhaps the only country where at least four vaccines are getting ready,” Javdekar said.

Covishield is being manufactured in India by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).

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The approval for Covaxin comes on a day when India conducted a dry run all over the country for the COVID vaccination drive.

Bharat Biotech is now in the process of conducting phase 3 trials of Covaxin. It has submitted data showing that the drug produced an immune response and that there was no side effect in the Phase I and Phase II trials.

Pfizer has also sought approval for the vaccine it has developed in association with BioNTech and the application is under the committee’s review. The vaccine has been approved for use in the UK.

The other two vaccines awaiting approval are Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D and Russia’s Sputnik-V. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) will later announce the dosage and other details about the vaccine shot.

The vaccines approved by the Subject Expert Committee will now have to get the final nod from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use.

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SII is said to be selling the Covishield vaccine to the government for ₹250 per dose and for ₹1,000 to private bodies.

Here are the vaccines being developed for use in India: