NEW DELHI: The Drugs Controller General of India on Sunday gave nod to two coronavirus vaccines, one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the other by Bharat Biotech for emergency use.
"The... vaccines of Serum Institute (AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine) and Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situations," the Drugs Controller General of India, VG Somani, said at a media briefing.
The DCGI allayed concerns over the safety of the vaccines, saying "we'll never approve anything if there's slightest of safety concern."
"Vaccines are 110 % safe. Some side effects like mild fever, pain & allergy are common for every vaccine. It (that people may get impotent) is absolute rubbish," said VG Somani, Drug Controller General of India.
The initial immunization plan aims to vaccinate 300 million people health care workers, front-line staff including police and those considered vulnerable due to their age or other diseases by August 2021.
Congratulating the scientists and innovators, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the move will accelerate the road to a Covid-free nation.
"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", Modi tweeted.
A decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight! DCGI granting approval to vaccines of @SerumInstIndia an… https://t.co/FiyDOOaJHZ— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1609652831000
"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", Modi tweeted.
"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," said PM Modi.