Coronavirus vaccine in India: AIIMS Delhi Director reveals timeline for emergency use authorisation for Covid-19 vaccines

Coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine in India: However, Covid-19 vaccine won’t be available in sufficient doses to give to everyone in beginning, AIIMS Delhi-Director Dr. Randeep Guleria said.

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The United States ordered 600 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine in July, while the EU waited until November to place an order of half that size.

Coronavirus vaccine should get emergency use authorization (EUA) from Indian regulatory authorities for vaccination by the end of December or early January, said AIIMS Delhi-Director Dr. Randeep Guleria, according to an ANI report. Guleria’s statement came a day after the United Kingdom (UK) had become the first country in the world to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for mass-vaccination. Russian President Vladimir Putin also ordered a large-scale voluntary Coronavirus vaccination programme across the country from next week.

“In India, we now have vaccines which are in their final human trial stage. Hopeful that by the end of this month or early next month we should get emergency use authorization from Indian regulatory authorities to start giving the vaccine to public,” Guleria was quoted as saying by ANI.

For distribution of Covid-19 vaccine, Guleria said work is going on at war-footing both at centre and state level. Starting from developing a strategy to maintaining the cold chain, to get appropriate storehouses, and from training vaccinators to availability of syringes, all works are getting done with utmost focus.

However, the Covid-19 vaccine won’t be available in sufficient doses to give to everyone in beginning, he said as reported by ANI. “We need a priority list to see that we vaccinate those who’ve high chances of dying due to Covid. Elderly, people with comorbidities and front line workers should be vaccinated first.”

Earlier on November 30, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said in the first three to four months of 2021, there is a possibility that the central government will be able to provide vaccines to the people of the country. “By July-August, we have a plan to provide vaccines to around 25-30 crore people and we are preparing accordingly,” Dr. Vardhan told media.

On the issue of Emergency Use Authorization of Coronavirus vaccines in India, Dr. Vardhan said in October said “Adequate safety and efficacy data are required for emergency use authorization vaccine approval for ensuring patient safety. Further course of action will depend on the data generated”, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

On November 29, the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement that a total of 10 vaccine candidates have been supported by the Department of Biotechnology so far at both academia and industry, and as of date, five vaccine candidates are in human trials including the Russian Vaccine Sputnik-V with at least 3 more in advanced stages of preclinical to enter human trials shortly.

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First published on: 03-12-2020 at 14:39 IST