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India approves AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, country's first

An expert panel on Covid-19 of the CDSCO on Friday had recommended grant of permission for use of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine
Last Updated : 03 January 2021, 02:04 IST
Last Updated : 03 January 2021, 02:04 IST

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India has approved the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, paving the way for one of the world's largest immunisation campaigns.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters on Saturday the vaccine had been approved on Friday, confirming what sources close to the matter had told Reuters.

It is the first Covid-19 vaccine to be approved for emergency use by India, which has the highest number of infections after the United States.

Javadekar said at least three more vaccines were waiting in line to be approved.

"India is perhaps the only country where at least four vaccines are getting ready," he said.

"One was approved yesterday for emergency use, Serum's COVISHIELD." he said, referring to the fact that the shot is being made locally by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

India has reported more than 10 million Covid-19 cases, though its rate of infection has come down significantly from a mid-September peak.

The country hopes to inoculate 300 million of its 1.35 billion people in the first six to eight months of 2021.

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Published 02 January 2021, 10:14 IST

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