New Delhi: Oxford University and AstraZeneca’s vaccine, Covishield, got the seal of approval by the Indian government for emergency use. The vaccine is being manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India. Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has cleared the vaccine for emergency use in India.
The vaccine is made of a weakened and modified version of adenovirus (a common cold virus) that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) gave emergency-use approval to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine earlier. The vaccine has shown, an average efficacy of 70.4%, with no hospitalisations or severe disease.
According to media reports, CEO Adar Poonawalla has said that Covishield will be priced at Rs 250 to the government and the vaccine will be available in the private market for Rs 1,000. He also said that the vaccine is cheaper than Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Also unlike Pfizer’s vaccine, the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine can be stored, transported, and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2°C to 8°C) for at least six months.
In an exclusive conversation with ABP News, Poonawalla said that 50 million doses of coronavirus vaccine manufactured by the Serum institute are ready. According to the statement by Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the vaccine will first be given to around one crore healthcare workers working in both government and private hospital.These healthcare workers have further been divided into sub-categories – frontline health and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers, nurses and supervisors, medical officers, paramedical staff, support staff, and students.
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