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Govt likely to approve Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine by next week: Report

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New Delhi, Dec 23: India is likely to approve Oxford/AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine for emergency use by next week after its local manufacturer submitted additional data sought by authorities, according to the sources.

Govt likely to approve Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine by next week: Report

India could be the first country to give the regulatory green light for the Oxford drugmaker's vaccine while the British medicine regulator continues to examine data from the trials.

Getting vaccines to the world's second-most populous and biggest vaccine-making country with one of the highest infection rates will also be a big step in the battle against the pandemic.

India wants to start inoculating country's citizens next month and is also considering emergency use authorisation applications for vaccines made by Pfizer Inc and local company Bharat Biotech.

The AstraZeneca-Oxford shot is considered vital for lower-income countries and those in hot climates because it is cheaper, easier to transport and can be stored for long periods at normal fridge temperatures.

SII, the world's biggest vaccine manufacturer, has now provided all the data, the two sources said. The authorities were still waiting for more details from Pfizer, a government health adviser told a news briefing on Tuesday, while one of the sources said additional information was expected from Bharat Biotech.

Both sources said Indian health officials were in direct contact with their British counterparts over the AstraZeneca shot and that there were "strong indications" an approval would come by next week.

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