Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' has been given a conditional permit by the Subject Expert Committee set up by Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
The Serum Institute of India (SII) is making the vaccine Covishield developed by Oxford University and pharma major AstraZeneca.
DCGI to take the final call
The centre is looking to start giving vaccine shots from this month, once the vaccine is cleared for a final time by the DCGI.
The Pune-based Serum Institute has partnered with Oxford-AstraZeneca for conducting clinical trials and manufacturing 'Covishield' while Bharat Biotech has collaborated with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to make 'Covaxin'.
Previously, Argentina and the United Kingdom have already given emergency use approval to Covishield and started the vaccine rollout process.
America's Pfizer was the first one to apply for the accelerated approval on December 4, followed by Serum and Bharat Biotech on December 6 and 7, respectively. Pfizer has, however, sought more time to present the data.
"Happy New Year with something in hand": DCGI
As India awaits for a silver bullet against coronavirus with bated breath, the DCGI, on Thursday, hinted at the approval of vaccine and said that the country will have a "Happy New Year with something in hand".
The meeting comes a day before dry-run of the vaccine is slated to commence in all the states and Union Territories to equip the administration in the management of vaccine supply, storage and logistics, including cold chain management.
The Central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of the drive. It will be offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with 2 crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with co-morbidities.
(With inputs from wires)