UK approves Oxford vaccine

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 30

The UK on Wednesday became the first country to approve the Oxford University-AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine. Indian regulators will meet on January 1 to take a call on the candidate.

The Oxford vaccine project has Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) as partner which has already applied to the Indian drug regulator for emergency use authorisation (EUA) besides keeping millions of doses ready for instant rollout once approvals come.

The Subject Expert Committee at the Central Drug Standards Control Organisation met today to consider pending EUA requests from Pfizer, SII and Bharat Biotech.

While Pfizer sought more time, SII and Bharat Biotech submitted additional safety information on their vaccines which the Indian experts are analyzing.

June Raine, Chief Executive, UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, said the vaccine authorisation had been granted after review of the “required safety, quality and effectiveness standards.

It’s easier to store and distribute as transportation and storage requirements mean that it needs to be kept at temperatures of 2°C to 8°C.

Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator, Oxford Vaccine Trial, said, The regulator’s assessment that this is a safe and effective vaccine is a landmark moment.”

UK PM Boris Johnson’s government, which has ordered 100 million doses, had already fast-tracked approval of a vaccine developed by Pfizer of the US and Germany’s BioNTech. Britain has seen as many as 53,135 fresh Covid cases in 24 hours.

Kamala Harris receives first shot of Moderna

Washington: US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine at United Medical Center in Washington live on television. Her move was a part of efforts to build public trust in the inoculation. She urged Americans to get vaccinated for the virus. Her husband Doug Emhoff too received the drug. PTI

(With inputs from agencies)

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