India gets ready for world’s largest vaccination drive

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday called it a ‘watershed moment in India’s famed battle against COVID-19’ after Serum Institute of India’s COVISHIELD and Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN get a nod for restricted use.

‘A watershed moment in India’s famed battle against COVID-19 under the charismatic leadership of Hon’ble PM Sh Narendra Modi Ji! Our wait for COVID19 vaccine is over with COVISHIELD from @SerumInstIndia & COVAXIN from @BharatBiotech approved for emergency use in India,’ said Harsh Vardhan.

He added, ‘These vaccines are a fitting tribute to our corona warriors! My heartfelt gratitude to all healthcare professionals & frontline workers for their exemplary efforts during these unprecedented times. Congratulations to all the scientists & researchers for their untiring efforts.’

The Health Minister also said, ‘It’s now time to reap the benefits of the robust supply chain infrastructure we’ve put in place for quick & equitable distribution of the vaccine. Urge all citizens to entrust the stringent protocols followed for ensuring safety, efficacy & immunogenicity of the approved vaccines.’

The Central Drugs and Standards Committee (CDSCO) on Sunday formally approved the COVID-19 vaccines by Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India (SII). This allows the vaccines — Covishield by SII and based on the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech — to be offered to healthcare workers and frontline workers in India.