Any individual above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against Covid-19 from May 1, the central government said on Monday as it liberalised the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.
The announcement came after India on April 13 had fast-tracked emergency use approval for eligible foreign-produced shots against Covid-19. Considering both the developments, there are chances that few more vaccines are soon available in the market along with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute’s Covishield. Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine developed by a Moscow laboratory recently became the third vaccine that got permission for use in an emergency situation.
Zydus Cadila, Panacea Biotec, Indian Immunologicals, Mynvax and Biological E are the other domestic pharma firms that are working on the coronavirus vaccines in the country.
Vaccines available in global markets
The vaccines that would be eligible for the fast-track approval will include those that have been granted permission by USFDA, European Medicines Agency (EMA), UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) of Japan, or those that have been prequalified by the WHO for emergency use. This would mean that Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines would be eligible for fast-track approval as they are approved by USFDA.
Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines are 95% effective against Covid, while the Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccine is said to have a 72% efficacy rate in the USA in preventing symptomatic illness.
Besides Pfizer and Moderna, UK has also approved AstraZeneca vaccine. On the other hand, the EMA has already approved Covid-19 vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca. Japan is using the Pfizer vaccine to curb Covid.
In an event organised by AIMA, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran on Monday said, “We need to get as many different vaccines licences as possible and we are going to scale up, even if we have to replicate multiple factories.”
He was responding to a query on how he would have handled the current situation if he were to be given the responsibility.
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