India approves Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccines

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted emergency approvals to Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccines for the prevention of Covid-19.

COVISHIELD has been developed at the Serum Institute of India’s laboratory in Pune with a master seed from Oxford University and pharma giant AstraZeneca.

According to DCGI VG Somani, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech had filed data on their respective clinical trials and both have been given permission for “restricted use”.

VG Somani said: “We’ll never approve anything if there is slightest of safety concern. The vaccines are 100% safe. Some side effects like mild fever, pain and allergy are common for every vaccine.”

The DCGI rubbished certain claims that the vaccines could possibly make people impotent.

India approves Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccines

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit to Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of the Covaxin vaccine against Covid-19. Photo courtesy of Bharat Biotech.

The two vaccine candidates are the first of their kind to be approved in India in its ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus. India has been the second most affected country after the US by Covid-19, which emerged from Wuhan, China in December 2019.

More than 10 million people had contracted Covid-19 in India and nearly 150,000 losing their lives.

Responding to the approvals of the two Covid-19 vaccines in India, the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “A decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight! DCGI granting approval to vaccines of Serum Institue of India & Bharat Biotech accelerates the road to healthier & COVID-free nation. Congratulations India. Congratulations to our hardworking scientists & innovators.”

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