18,177 Fresh COVID-19 Cases In India

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India’s drugs regulator on Sunday approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.

The approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) was given on the basis of recommendations submitted by a COVID-19 subject expert committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

“After adequate examination, CDSCO has decided to accept the recommendations of the Expert Committee and accordingly, vaccines of M/s Serum and M/s Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situation,” DCGI Dr VG Somani said.

This paves the way for the roll out of at least two vaccines in India in the coming days.

The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has tied up with AstraZeneca to manufacture Covishield.

Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Meanwhile, India added 18,177 coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, placing its overall number at 1.03 crore cases, the Health Ministry’s data showed. The number of fresh infections is 4.7 per cent lower than on Saturday. In this period, India reported 217 deaths linked to the virus, taking the total number of fatalities to 1,49,435.

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