Covid-19: India authorizes the use of two vaccines

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Both vaccines are “approved for restricted use in emergency situations,” said India’s Comptroller General of Drugs, V. G Somani.

The country has authorized two vaccines against Covid-19, one developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford and the other by the Indian pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech, the local drug regulatory authority announced on Sunday (January 3rd). .

Prime Minister Narendra Modi estimated that this approval, according to an accelerated procedure, was “a decisive turning point to strengthen the spirit of combat” and to “accelerate the march towards a healthier Nation free from Covid”.

150,000 deaths from Covid-19

India, with a population of 1.3 billion, is the second country most affected by the pandemic, with more than 10.3 million people who have been infected. Nearly 150,000 people have died from Covid-19.

Its rate of new infections has declined dramatically compared to September, when more than 90,000 cases were reported every day.

This green light should make it possible to kick off a vast vaccination campaign. Simulation exercises have already been carried out nationally, and 96,000 health workers have been trained to administer the vaccine.

“100% safe” vaccines

VG Somani told reporters that the regulator “would never give its approval if there was the slightest safety concern”.

“These vaccines are 100% safe,” he continued, adding that the observed side effects, such as “mild fever, pain and allergies were common to all vaccines.”

The Serum Institute in India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, said it manufactures between 50 and 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine each month. Its managing director Adar Poonawalla tweeted after the green light was announced that the vaccine would be “ready for distribution in the coming weeks”.

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