New Delhi: According to a senior government official, Indian drugmaker Cipla Ltd has received regulatory approval to distribute partner Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine in the country, paving the way for the shot to be imported. After AstraZeneca and partner Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, and Russia’s Gamaleya Institute’s Sputnik V, Moderna’s vaccine will be the fourth shot approved for use in India.
The government has stated repeatedly in recent press briefings that the Pfizer vaccine will be available in India soon.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla stated in June that his company was in the final stages of obtaining Indian government approval for its COVID-19 vaccine. He went on to say that if approved, Pfizer will supply one billion doses to India this year.
India has set a lofty goal of vaccinating its vast population by the end of this year. With an increasing number of vaccines and new companies joining the club, India will not only be able to realise this dream, but will also be able to address the ongoing scarcity of vaccine doses.
Following are the vaccines available for Indian citizens:
The Serum Institute of India in Pune manufactures the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine ‘Covishield.’ On January 16, India launched the world’s largest vaccination drive with Covishield and Covaxin vaccines. The vaccine is administered in two doses, four to twelve weeks apart. It can be kept safely at temperatures ranging from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius and is easily supplied in existing healthcare facilities such as doctors’ offices. This vaccine has been administered to the vast majority of Indians.
Covaxin works with an inactivated virus, which means it is made up of dead coronaviruses, making it safe to inject into the body. Bharat Biotech manufactures Covaxin. The company exports to 123 countries and has a vaccine portfolio of 16 products based on a coronavirus sample isolated by India’s National Institute of Virology. Covishield has a maximum price of Rs 780 per dose for private Covid-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs), while Covaxin has a maximum price of Rs 1,410 per dose.
3. Sputnik V:
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories in Hyderabad, India, manufactures Sputnik V. The vaccine was developed by Russia’s Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and it is being marketed globally by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). The vaccine employs two different viruses that cause the common cold in humans (adenoviruses). The two doses, given 21 days apart, are distinct and incompatible.
Fortis Healthcare and Apollo Hospitals, two private hospital chains in Delhi-NCR, have begun administering the Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V. From Wednesday, Indraprastha Apollo in Delhi began administering Sputnik V in stages. So far, approximately 1,000 people have been immunised. The vaccine’s price has been set by the government at Rs 1,145 per dose.
Moderna will be the fourth vaccine approved for use in India. The vaccine doses will be imported by Indian drugmaker Cipla Ltd and will fall under the jurisdiction of the central government. The Centre intends to distribute Moderna doses directly to states.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX scheme is delivering Moderna vaccine doses to India just days after the DGCI approved it.
Pfizer, based in the United States, is in the final stages of obtaining approval from the Indian government for its COVID-19 vaccine; if approved, the pharma giant will supply one billion doses to India this year.
The Centre also intends to grant Pfizer and Moderna indemnity from liability in order to expedite vaccine approvals in India. Indemnity protects vaccine manufacturers from legal action, ensuring that they cannot be sued in India.
6. Many more to come:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suggested that the supply of COVID-19 vaccines will be increased in the coming days. He stated that seven companies are currently producing various types of vaccines. Three more vaccines are in the final stages of testing, he said. In one of his speeches, the Prime Minister also mentioned trials for two vaccines for children and a “nasal vaccine.”
With the advancement of technology and research, humanity has been able to develop vaccines at a previously unheard-of pace and scale. The vast array of vaccines available in India will soon benefit the Indian population.