Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said approval to the vaccines of AstraZeneca-Oxford, being manufactured in India by Serum Institute of India (SII), and Bharat Biotech Ltd “accelerates the road to a healthier and Covid-free nation”, minutes after the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) nod for the two shots for emergency use. The Prime Minister also, in a series of tweet, expressed gratitude to the frontline workers involved in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
“A decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight! DCGI granting approval to vaccines of @SerumInstIndia and @BharatBiotech accelerates the road to a healthier and COVID-free nation. Congratulations India. Congratulations to our hardworking scientists and innovators,” PM Modi tweeted. “It would make every Indian proud that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval are made in India! This shows the eagerness of our scientific community to fulfil the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, at the root of which is care and compassion,” he said.
“We reiterate our gratitude to doctors, medical staff, scientists, police personnel, sanitation workers and all Corona warriors for the outstanding work done, that too in adverse circumstances. We will remain eternally grateful to them for saving many lives,” he added.
The Prime Minister’s tweet came after Drugs Controller General of India VG Somani formally announced the approval for the emergency-use of two coronavirus vaccines, one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the other by local company Bharat Biotech. “CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) accepts the subject expert committee reform rations on Serum and Bharat Biotech Covid vaccines,” Somani during a press conference. “Vaccines of M/s Serum and M/s Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situations,” Somani read out from a written statement.
Somani said the overall efficacy of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine was 70.42% and that of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin was “safe and provides a robust immune response”. “We will never approve anything if there is slightest of safety concern. The vaccines are 100% safe. Some side effects like mild fever, pain and allergy are common for every vaccine,” he added.
The subject expert committee (SEC) under CDSCO had recommended Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) as Covishield, for emergency use and Covaxin for restricted use. Covaxin is the indigenous vaccine being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).