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No Clarity on Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 Vaccine Proposals Amidst Mixed Reports

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There a to and fro on the COVID-19 vaccine proposals by Serum institute and Bharat Biotech for emergency. While earlier an NDTV report said the two were not cleared, later in the day there was news to the contrary.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, however, has denied all claims by the NDTV report, calling it “fake news” on Twitter. Sharing pictures from the news channel that read: “Sources: Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech Emergency Use Rejected,” MOH has said, “The news running on @ndtvindia is Fake News.”

NDTV, has reported citing sources, “Both proposals are not approved due to inadequate safety and efficacy data available currently. Both have been asked for more data.” The committee had reportedly reviewed the applications of Pfizer, Serum Institute of India, and Bharat Biotech.

About The Two Vaccines

Bharat Biotech, the Hyderabad-based vaccine maker, was the name behind Covaxin, the indigenous coronavirus vaccine being developed reportedly in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Bharat Biotech had sought emergency clearance for Covaxin.

Pune-based Serum Institute of India, which is also reportedly the world’s largest vaccine maker, meanwhile, had applied to DCGIc seeking emergency authorisation of AstraZeneca-Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine Covishield.

NDTV noted that both proposals had been rejected. Sources from Bharat Biotech were quoted saying, “It is standard practice for the government to hold several meetings. The process is expected to go on for one or two weeks.”

Also Read: Actor Kriti Sanon Tests Positive For COVID-19: Report

Pfizer Greenlighted In UK

Recently, UK became the first country to approve the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. 90-year-old British woman, Margaret Keenan, became the first person to be vaccinated in the world, outside of clinical trials.

British regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) claimed the UK has bought 40m doses of the vaccine (enough to vaccinate 20m people) which can provide up to 95 percent protection against COVID-19 illness, according to the BBC. Read more about the team behind Pfizer here. 

Pfizer had sought approval in India, but the vaccine has unfortunately encountered a roadblock. The Indian government said it is still deliberating over whether it will obtain the vaccine or not.

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