Covid-19, India approves two vaccines
India authorized two Covid-19 vaccines on Sunday, planning to inoculate some 300 million people on a priority list this year. It has recorded the second-highest number of coronavirus infections in the world, with more than 10.3 million confirmed cases to date. Nearly 150,000 people have died.
India’s drugs regulator gave an emergency authorization for the vaccines developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca and another developed by the Indian company Bharat Biotech.
Drugs Controller General Dr. Venugopal G Somani said both would require two doses and the decision was made after “careful examination” by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, India’s pharmaceutical regulator. Both vaccines are cheaper and easier to use than ones by Pfizer and Moderna since they do not require ultra-cold storage facilities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the vaccine approval a “decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight.” “Congratulations India,” Modi tweeted.