One of the vaccine manufacturers that had applied for accelerated approval for Covid vaccine candidates has submitted more data as demanded by the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) attached to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). Disclosing this, Vinod K Paul, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, on Tuesday said that experts are studying the data.
Paul, however, did not share the developer’s name. Though three firms had submitted their applications for accelerated approval of their vaccines, the US firm Pfizer, which jointly with German firm BioNTech developed the mRNA vaccine, has not yet submitted the data to SEC.
The other two —Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and the Pune-based Serum Institute of India, which is producing AstraZeneca-Oxford University Covishield vaccine in India, — had made a presentation before the subject experts. They were asked to submit more data before the approval is given.
It is still not clear, which firm has submitted the data subsequently as trials are on
“This process (of giving approval to a vaccine candidate) is sacrosanct. It is driven by scientific norms, procedures and SOPs. Let’s see where it takes us. Once the scientific groups and the regulator take a decision, we will move forward,” Paul told media persons here.
Earlier, addressing a meeting, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan expressed confidence that the vaccine will be ready for administration in the first month of 2021. The government has identified 30 crore priority groups which would be vaccinated against the infection in the first half of next year. This includes one crore healthcare workers and two crore police, paramilitary and armed forces as well as sanitation workers who are on the forefront in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, India passed a milestone on Tuesday with the number of active infections in the country falling below 3-lakh mark after nearly five-and-a-half months. The number of active infections in the country has been falling continuously for weeks and in the last week the average daily cases reported was 24,135 per day as against 46,300 per day in the first week November. There was a substantial reduction in the number of deaths as well during the same period from a daily average of 556 to 343 per day in the current week.
Last week, the total confirmed Covid-19 cases in India crossed 1-crore mark, but there was an equally impressive recoveries which touched almost 96 lakh already.