Covishield, the vaccine candidate from Pune-based Serum Institute of India, was approved by a Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) late on 1st January 2021.
The SEC gives its recommendation to the DCGI which is the approving authority for drugs and vaccines.
Covishield, which is similar to the ‘Oxford vaccine’ developed by the Oxford University vaccine group and marketed by AstraZeneca, was approved by the health regulator in the UK under emergency use conditions on Thursday. Under this the company is allowed to deploy its vaccines to priority groups and then the larger public, even though a full safety assessment hasn’t been completed.
Officials have said India will have a stockpile of 100 million doses as of the first week of January but there is no clarity on how many of these will be available for Indians. A longer dosage interval means that potentially more Indians could get at least a single jab of the vaccine.