Responding to the rising concerns of people with the discovery of a new strain of COVID-19, Dr. Randeep Guleria- Director, AIIMS Delhi, said that the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for use in the UK is a “big step forward.” He also added that India is just days away from getting the vaccine as well.
In an interview with a leading news daily, Guleria said that the UK regulatory authorities have robust data and in India, the same vaccine is being developed by SII- Serum Institute of India.
According to him, this vaccine can be stored at two-eight degrees centigrade and is therefore easy to store and transport. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees centigrade a simple fridge is more than enough to store AstraZeneca.
He stressed the availability of data and that this vaccine has been approved based on studies in South Africa, the UK, and Brazil. “There is also data from SII,” he said. The director added that once these data are shown to the regulatory authority, India will get approval in a few days.
On the other hand, the Pune-based SII has asked for the emergency approval of Covishield which is developed along with AstraZeneca- the global pharma giant and Oxford University. This Monday, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII, said that Covishield rollout is expected in January. He added that 40-50 million doses of the vaccine have already been stockpiled.
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