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Centre to speed up vaccine approvals: List of COVID-19 jabs that may soon be available in India

The government's move is likely to enable faster approval for vaccines like Johnson and Johnson, which has been approved by the WHO.

April 13, 2021 / 03:08 PM IST
The approval of more vaccines will also give a boost to India's vaccination drive

The approval of more vaccines will also give a boost to India's vaccination drive

The government, on April 13, said that it was fast-tracking approvals for foreign-made COVID-19 vaccines that had been granted emergency use authorisation in other countries.

India has so far approved three coronavirus vaccines. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) granted EUA to Sputnik V on April 13 while Oxford University-AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin were approved in early January.

Read | Centre fast-tracks emergency approvals for foreign-made jabs

The matter was discussed in the last meeting of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19, the health ministry said.

"The group, after comprehensive deliberation, recommended that vaccines for COVID-19, which have been granted emergency approval for restricted use by US FDA, EMA, UK MHRA, PMDA Japan or listed in WHO (Emergency Use Listing) may be granted emergency use approval in India," it added.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Click here for Moneycontrol's COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

The move is likely to enable faster approval for vaccines like Johnson and Johnson, which has been approved by the WHO.

The approval of more vaccines will also give a boost to India's vaccination drive as the health ministry allowed parallel bridging trials instead of mandatory local clinical trials.

Take a look at all the vaccines that could be rolled out in India soon

Johnson & Johnson

The Johnson & Johnson is a single-dose viral vector vaccine. The vaccine's storage temperature requirement is 2-8 degrees Celsius.

Overall, the vaccine prevented moderate to severe COVID-19 by 66.1 percent 28 days after the shot, but this rose to 85.4 percent when considering only severe disease.

The vaccine was approved by the WHO on March 12, 2021. The shot has also been approved in the US, Canada, Germany among other countries.


One of the most widely used, Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 is already approved for use in the European Union, the United States, Canada, Britain and several other nations.

Clinical trials showed the vaccine -- which delivers instructions to the body to help the immune system identify and destroy COVID-19 molecules -- to be 95 percent effective in preventing illness and hospitalisation.

Pfizer/BioNTech used the messenger RNA (mRNA) technique for their vaccines. The downside is that the doses must be kept at ultralow temperatures, though Pfizer has managed to demonstrate that its vaccine can be kept up to two weeks at less intense cold.


Like Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is based on genetic material or mRNA. The vaccine has a cold storage requirement of between -25°C and -15°C and is being sought by many countries.

The US-made vaccine, with a 94.1 percent efficacy rate, has been approved for use in the EU, North America, Britain, and several other nations, including Israel and Singapore.


The vaccine developed in China uses the traditional technique of injecting the deactivated virus in order to trigger an immune response.

Along with the United Arab Emirates, Hungary, Cambodia, Peru and Zimbabwe have all started administering the vaccine, which its makers say is 79 percent effective.


This Chinese-developed vaccine also uses a similar technique and is authorised in China, Chile, Brazil and Turkey. Others nations, including Ukraine and Uruguay, have pre-ordered doses.

The makers say it is 50 percent effective overall against COVID-19 (and 80 percent effective against severe illness), but trial results have not yet been made public.

WHO's decision on approval of China's Sinopharm and Sinovac jabs, along with the Moderna vaccine, is expected soon.

CanSino Biologics

This Convidecia Chinese-made viral vector vaccine is a single-dose jab currently approved for use in China, Pakistan and Mexico. The overall efficacy for CanSino's stands at 65.28 percent after 28 days.

Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic
Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 13, 2021 03:08 pm

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