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COVID-19: India may start vaccination from January


Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has said that India is likely to begin vaccination for COVID-19 in January.

The minister clarified that the country is not behind any other country as far as vaccines for COVID-19 are concerned. He, however, added that ensuring safety and efficacy of vaccines before approval is the primary concern of the government.

The minister, in an interview to a news agency, said, “I personally feel may be in January in any stage or any week, there can be a time when we can be in a position to give first COVID vaccine shot to the people of India.”

Harsh Vardhan said there are six Indian vaccine candidates for COVID-19 that are at various stages of testing. He said some of the vaccine candidates have applied for emergency use authorisation and the drug regulator is thoroughly scrutinising these vaccine candidates.

Also Read: 24,337 COVID-19 cases, 333 deaths reported in a day in India

“India is not less than any country when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine and research. Our priority has been the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. We do not want any compromise on that. Our regulators are analysing them with seriousness,” he said.

COVID-19 vaccine candidates

Notably, Serum Institute of India that is manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by AstraZeneca and University of Oxford has applied for emergency use of its vaccine. This apart, the vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is also one of the candidates for which an emergency use authorisation has been sought. Another vaccine maker Bharat Biotech has also applied for emergency use authorisation for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Over 1 cr COVID-19 cases

The health ministry on Monday informed that 24,337 fresh cases of COVID-19 have been reported in India in the past 24 hours. The addition of the fresh cases has taken the COVID-19 case tally past 1 crore. Also, 333 COVID-19 related deaths were reported by the ministry during this period. The addition of the fresh fatalities has taken India’s death toll due to the deadly virus to 1,45,810.


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