Russian-made Covid vaccine Sputnik V has been cleared for emergency use by the Drugs Controller General of India.
New Delhi: The Centre has fast-tracked emergency approval for foreign-produced COVID-19 vaccines that have been in use in other nations. The plan is to add to the basket of vaccines for domestic use and increase the pace and coverage of vaccination.
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Russian-made Covid vaccine Sputnik V has already been cleared for emergency use by the Drugs Controller General of India.
Five more vaccines are expected to get approval this year. The list includes Johnson and Johnson (Bio E), Zydus Cadila, Serum's Novavax and a nasal vaccine from Bharat Biotech.
Since last week, several states said their vaccine stocks were running low. The list includes Maharashtra – where Covid has struck the hardest – Punjab, Delhi, Telangana, and Rajasthan.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, however, said Maharashtra was creating panic to deflect attention from its own inability to control the infection.
Later Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear that there should be no political blame game on the vaccination issue. "I told you that you shouldn't worry a bit if the number of cases is high. Don't be under any kind of pressure that your performance is bad," he said.
The Congress has called for expediting approval and availability of the vaccines already in use abroad from the Congress. This topped the wishlist of party chief Sonia Gandhi, who wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday.
The country is also trying to step up vaccination with PM Modi's call for a four-day "Tika Utsav".
India had started the world's largest vaccination program on January 16 and so far, more than 10 crore doses have been administered.
Over the last 24 hours, the country logged 1,61,736 new Covid cases – slightly lower than yesterday but still above the 1.5 lakh mark for the third consecutive day, pushing the country's caseload to over 1.36 crore.
The number of fatalities went up by 879, taking the total death count to 1,71,058.
So what do you think about the new player in the Vaccine Industry, will you opt for Sputnik V if Given? do let us know in the comments below!