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COVID-19 vaccine by Oxford-AstraZeneca may get Centre’s approval in next few days: Report

India may not wait for the regulator in the United Kingdom to approve the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine candidate, once evaluation of the data is complete.

December 28, 2020 / 08:21 AM IST
Image: Reuters

Image: Reuters

India is likely to grant emergency use authorisation to the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 in the next few days as the updated data submitted by the Serum Institute of India (SII) is 'satisfactory', The Times of India reported citing top government sources.

The Indian government may not wait for the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to grant an approval for the vaccine candidate, once evaluation of the data is complete, the report suggests.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

Authorities in the UK are also evaluating data from clinical trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and may grant an approval in the meanwhile.

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: What you need to know about manufacturing and pricing


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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The Indian government is planning to vaccinate 25-30 crore people by July 2021. These people will healthcare and frontline workers and other high-risk groups. Authorities are already gearing up for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and a dry run is expected to be held in four states – Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Punjab – this week.

The dry run exercise will include data entries in the Co-WIN platform, deployment of team members and mock drill of sessions at sites with test beneficiaries. The drill will also help test cold storage and transportation arrangements, crowd management and maintenance of safety protocols.

Follow our LIVE blog for the latest updates of the coronavirus pandemic

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that another important focus area of the dry run will be the management of possible adverse events following immunisation.

In a statement on December 25, the health ministry said that detailed training modules had been developed for different categories of vaccine handlers and administrators including medical officers, vaccinators, alternate vaccinators, cold chain handlers, supervisors, data managers, ASHA coordinators and others involved in the implementation process at various levels.

The process of vaccinating medical staff and high-risk groups is already underway in several countries including the United States and the UK.

Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic
Moneycontrol News
first published: Dec 28, 2020 08:21 am
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