New Delhi: Amid the exponential surge in Covid-19 cases, India is mulling to allow vaccines manufactured in countries like the US, the UK, Japan or which are listed in the WHO’s emergency use listing.
The aim is to augment the basket of vaccines available for fighting Covid-19 pandemic as well as to accelerate the coverage of the domestic vaccination programme started on January 16.
The decision will facilitate quicker access to such foreign vaccines and would encourage imports, including of bulk drug material, and optimal utilisation of domestic fill and finish capacity, which will, in turn, provide a fillip to vaccine manufacturing capacity and total vaccine availability for domestic use.
The matter was discussed in the 23rd meeting of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) chaired by Niti Aayog’s Member (Health) Dr V.K. Paul, on Sunday amid the surge in Covid cases in the country which so far has infected 1,36,89,453 people and claimed 1,71,058 lives.
After comprehensive deliberation, the NEGVAC recommended that vaccines for Covid-19 being manufactured in foreign countries as well as those which have already received approval for “restricted use by USFDA, EMA, UK MHRA, PMDA Japan may be granted emergency use approval in India”.
It is learnt that the “vaccines, which are listed in World Health Orgnisation’s (WHOs) emergency use listing, may also be granted emergency use approval in India”.
The approval may be granted mandating the requirement of “post-approval parallel bridging clinical trial in place of conduct of local clinical trial as per the provisions prescribed under Second Schedule of the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules 2019”.
India has also granted permission for the third Covid-19 vaccine ‘Gam-COVID-Vac’ combined vector vaccine, popularly called Sputnik-V, in emergency situations.
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. has announced that it has received permission from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to import the Sputnik vaccine into India for restricted use in emergency situations.
India’s vaccination coverage on Wednesday exceeded 11 crores, on the 4th day of Tika Utsav with over 26 lakh doses given in the last 24 hours. The total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 11 crore on the fourth day of the Tika Utsav.