Covid-19 vaccine: Expert panel reviews status, India's drug regulator to take a final decision on use
The review comes a day before a dry run on administering the vaccine in all states and Union Territories
An expert panel on Friday reviewed the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) of COVID-19 vaccines in India as part of the process of making a recommendation on its use to India's national drug regulator.
Several media outlets, during the course of the afternoon, reported that the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) had approved the use of the Covishield vaccine, the Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate which is being manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, however, clarified in the evening that the panel's review was still on. It had earlier said that the SEC was closely monitoring the data of two leading vaccine candidates.
"The SEC meeting of the national drug regulator is still going on. They will make appropriate recommendations to DGCI. The final decision will be taken by DGCI," the ministry said.
The SEC review came a day before the ministry is to roll out a dry run on vaccine administration in all states and Union Territories (UTs) across India, on Saturday.
“Let us attempt to implement it as a real exercise with attention to the minutest detail. Proper co-ordination will go a long way in building mutual understanding so that the upcoming vaccination drive may proceed without any glitch,” Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan said during a meeting to take stock of preparations of the dry run today.
According to the ministry, measures to make tomorrow’s pan-India dry-run glitch free include increasing the number of telephone operators to answer every possible query from the teams on ground conducting the dry-run and constitution of block level task forces for physical inspection of the sites.
All workers involved in the exercise have been oriented for the purpose with the dissemination of FAQs on the process, among other issues, the ministry said in an official statement.
Vardhan was also briefed about other preparations, including setting up of session site, process of updation and collation of data, uploading it on CoWIN, training of the vaccinators, preparedness for any adverse event following immunization (AEFI), cold chain management, security of session sites and vaccine storage sites, the statement added.