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Bharat Biotech vaccine could be back-up for now: AIIMS Chief


New Delhi, Jan 03: Dr Randeep Guleria, the chief of Delhi's All-India Institute of Medical Sciences on Sunday said that Bharat Biotech's coronavirus vaccine, which is still undergoing clinical trial, is likely to be the "back-up" vaccine in the coming days.

AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria

The AIIMS director's statement came after India today approved two Covid-19 vaccines - Serum Institute of India's locally produced Oxford Covid-19 vaccine Covishield and Bharat Biotech's indigenously manufactured Covaxin - for emergency use in the country.

"In an emergency situation when there is a sudden increase in cases and we need to vaccinate, Bharat Biotech vaccine will be used. It can also be used as a backup when we're not sure how efficacious the Serum Institute vaccine is going to be," Guleria told news agency ANI.

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"Approval clearly says 'emergency situation' keeping in mind the circulating variant strains and at the same time, they have to continue the trial and get the data in. Once that data comes in, we'll be more confident as far as safety and efficacy is concerned," Guleria told ANI.

"Initially, Serum Institute's vaccine will be given. They already have 50 million doses available and they'll be able to give that in initial phase where we'll vaccinate around 3 crore people. Gradually, we'll build on it and by that time Bharat Biotech data will also be available," the AIIMS director informed.

In a proud moment for India, drugs regulator on Sunday approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive

."After adequate examination, CDSCO has decided to accept the recommendations of the Expert Committee and accordingly, vaccines of M/s Serum and M/s Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situations," DCGI Dr V G Somani told the media here.

This paves the way for the roll out of at least two vaccines in India in the coming days.

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