A senior researcher at the ICMR, the country's apex health research agency that collaborated with Bharat Biotech in developing Covaxin, said the emergency-use authorisation represented a process to "accelerate" development in response to an epidemic that was killing people every day.
Drugs Controller General of India, DCGI has given approval for restricted use in emergency situation of two Covid19 vaccines- Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
Mary Ramsay, head of immunisations at Public Health England, said this would only happen on extremely rare occasions, and that the government was not recommending the mixing of vaccines, which require at least two doses given several weeks apart.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We know there are challenges still ahead of us over the coming weeks and months, but I'm confident this is the year we will defeat coronavirus and start building back better".
Union minister Smriti Irani called the emergency use approval of the indigenous vaccine a watershed moment.
M/s Serum Institute of India, Pune has presented a Recombinant Chimpanzee Adenovirus vector vaccine (Covishield) encoding the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) glycoprotein with technology transfer from AstraZeneca/Oxford University. With the news of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, people are now hoping that they can finally get rid of the mandatory norms once they get vaccinated.
Boris Johnson says Scottish referendum should be `once in a generation` thing
With "don't knows" excluded, 58 per cent of voters said they would now vote Yes for independence, with 42 per cent backing No. On Sunday, it notched up an additional 54,990 cases, down slightly from the previous day's daily record of 57,725.
The British shot, however, has been plagued by uncertainty about its most effective dosage ever since data published in November showed a half dose followed by a full dose had a 90% success rate, while two full shots were 62% effective.
The efficacy of the Indian vaccine could "go up much more" than 60% after two doses are given, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. "While this vaccine addresses an unmet medical need during this pandemic, our goal is to provide global access to populations that need it the most", said Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Dr. Krishna Ella.
Australia has ordered over 50 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is seen in Wolverhampton, Britain Dec. 14, 2020.
The panel had asked Bharat Biotech to submit for data for Covaxin, and suggested expediting volunteer recruitment for the ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials.
India is the world´s second most-infected nation with more than 10.3 million cases and nearly 150,000 deaths, although its rate of infection has come down significantly from a mid-September peak of more than 90,000 cases daily.
It is the largest phase III efficacy trial ever conducted for any vaccine in India, he added.