Two breakthrough firms in the race for coronavirus vaccine - Pfizer and Serum Institute (Oxford-AztraZeneca) - have sought for the emergency use authorisation of their vaccine candidate in India to fast forward the process of immunization against the deadly viral disease.
A government official told that no application had been received as of Saturday night.
The application for emergency authorization in India is one of the first globally for AstraZeneca's vaccine, which has the most supply deals around the world.
According to sources, this vaccine is logistically feasible for distribution in both urban and rural parts of the country as it can be stored at two to eight degrees celsius.
Days after Pfizer received an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for its Covid-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom, the multinational drugmaker is said to have approached the Indian regulator with a similar request. India has already made it clear that any vaccine to be brought in the country has to complete clinical trials here. "This will save countless lives, and I thank the Government of India and Sri Narendra Modi ji for their invaluable support", Poonawala tweeted.
On December 4, Pfizer India sought approval from the Indian drug controller for emergency use of its vaccine.
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India has reported more than 9.57 million COVID-19 cases, the world's second-highest after the United States, with almost 140,000 deaths.
Covishield, which is the vaccine developed by Oxford-Astrazeneca scientists makes use of an inactive version of the common cold virus and has proven exemplary results in early studies.
"Therefore, Covishield is safe and well-tolerated and can be used effectively for prevention of COVID-19 in the targeted population".
Serum was not immediately available to Reuters request for comment.
Serum Institute has also said an emergency use approval could preface a full rollout by February or March.
The Pune-based vaccine manufacturer has collaborated with Oxford University and pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca for making the vaccine and its trials at select sites.