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.
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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.
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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