New Delhi, January 3: The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), a department of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), will hold a press conference at 11 am today on the COVID-19 vaccine. The DCGI is expected to give nod to emergency use of Oxford-AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine candidates in India. Both vaccines have been recommended for emergency use approval by an expert panel. COVID-19 Vaccination in India Schedule: Who Will Get the Coronavirus Vaccine First in the Country? Dr Harsh Vardhan Lists Out Categories for Phase 1.
DCGI's press conference comes after the Subject Expert Committee of CDSCO recommended Covishield and Covaxin for emergency use in India. Covishield, developed by Oxford University and pharma giant AstraZeneca, is manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India. Covaxin is developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV). New Coronavirus Strain: India First in World to Successfully Culture and Isolate 'UK Variant' of COVID-19-Causing SARS-CoV-2 Virus.
"Grant of permission for restricted emergency use of vaccine, subject to multiple regulatory conditionalities, to Serum Institute of India. Grant of permission for restricted use in emergency situation in public interest as an abundant precaution, in clinical trial mode, specially in the context of infection by mutant strains to Bharat Biotech," the SEC recommended.
Their approval by DCGI will bring major relief for India which has the second-highest number of infections in the world, after the United States. The central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of drive. The COVID-19 vaccine will be offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with 2 crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with co-morbidities.