New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated India and hailed the scientific community as the Drugs Controller General of India gave final approval to two COVID-19 vaccines - Oxford's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccin- for emergency use.
Vaccines of Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech are granted permission for restricted use in emergency situation, the DCGI said.
In a series of tweets after the DGCI announcement, PM Modi said, "A decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight! DCGI granting approval to vaccines of @SerumInstIndia and @BharatBiotech accelerates the road to a healthier and COVID-free nation. Congratulations India. Congratulations to our hardworking scientists and innovators."
"It would make every Indian proud that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval are made in India! This shows the eagerness of our scientific community to fulfil the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, at the root of which is care and compassion," he said.
"We reiterate our gratitude to doctors, medical staff, scientists, police personnel, sanitation workers and all Corona warriors for the outstanding work done, that too in adverse circumstances. We will remain eternally grateful to them for saving many lives," Modi further said.
This comes as an expert panel of India's central drug authority on Saturday recommended to the Drugs Controller General of India to grant permission for restricted use of Bharat Biotech-developed indigenous COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin in emergency situation, especially in the context of infection by mutant strains.
The recommendation for Bharat Biotech's vaccine came a day after the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation cleared the Serum Institute of India's emergency use athorisation application for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Covishield.
As per an official release, the SEC met on Friday and Saturday and made its recommendations in respect of the accelerated approval process request of the SII, Bharat Biotech International Ltd as well as about phase-III trials of Cadila Healthcare Ltd.
The Subject Expert Committee recommended a grant of permission for restricted emergency use of the vaccine, subject to multiple regulatory conditionalities, to Serum Institute of India, Pune.