Third vaccine cleared for emergency use in India

The development has come at a time when India is witnessing an exponential surge in Covid-19 cases and vaccines have been much in demand….reports Asian Lite News

A government expert panel has given its nod to emergency use authorisation of Russian-made Covid vaccine, Sputnik-V, in India, Union Health Ministry sources said.

After the Drug Controller General of India gives assent to the Subject Expert Committee’s approval, the sources said, India will have a third Covid vaccine after AstraZeneca-Oxford University developed-Serum Institute of India-manufactured Covishield and Bharat Biotech-developed and manufactured Covaxin.

Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) Dr N.K. Arora, talking to IANS, said: “Though, I am yet to receive any official information about its approval, but it would be good news for India if it is approved.”

Explaining features of this vaccine, Arora said: “Sputnik is a two dose vaccine. The composition of the first dose will be different from the second dose and there should be at least a three to four weeks gap between the first dose and the second. The published data suggest that it has 91 per cent efficacy. Some more clarity on it will also come soon.”

The development has come at a time when India is witnessing an exponential surge in Covid-19 cases and vaccines have been much in demand.

A medical health worker giving a shot of Covishield vaccine to a frontline worker. Covid-19 vaccination drive at private hospital daryaganj in New Delhi
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Meanwhile, amid reports that the subject expert committee (SEC) has approved Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories’ (DRL) application for the Russian vaccine candidate Sputnik V to tackle Coronavirus pandemic, the city-based company is yet to receive official communication about the approval.

“There is no approval received yet. We are still awaiting the statement from the SEC. Once we get something, we will release a statement,” a DRL official said on Monday.

He said that the SEC has to first pass on the recommendation to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) and then the latter has to give the nod.

The pharmaceutical major is expecting that this process might take a day or two.

When quizzed on the company’s preparedness to produce the vaccine in large numbers, the official said ‘we will be releasing details as and when we get some input there (from SEC and DCGI)’.

This development comes at a time when several Indian states are facing severe vaccine shortage and is a positive development.

Meanwhile, Dr. Reddy’s scrip rallied on the bourses, reacting to the approval news reports.

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