On Sunday, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi criticised the Centre over the delay in the launch of a coronavirus vaccine. Noting that countries such as China, the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom have started the process and 23 lakh people worldwide have already been vaccinated, Rahul Gandhi asked 'India ka number kab aayega (When will India's chance come?)'
The candidate for the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine - Covishield, which is being tested and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, Pune, is likely to be approved for emergency use by next week. Emergency approvals were also filed with the DCGI for Covaxin, India's first home-grown vaccine. The Indian arm of Pfizer has also applied for clearance for emergency use.
In the meantime, in the face of concerns about a new strain of coronavirus detected in the United Kingdom, Dr. Shekhar Mande, Director-General of the Council of Science and Industrial Research (CSIR), said that the coronavirus mutation would not affect the production of the vaccine as the vaccine invokes the overall immunity of the body.