The Union Health Ministry stated on Thursday that Bharat Biotech's Covaxin has been approved for regular emergency use authorisation. Before this, the vaccine was allowed only in clinical trial mode. This condition has now been waived off by the authorities.
"In January we allowed restricted use, in the interest of abundant precaution We have done the scale up. Both Covisheild and Covaxin have the same licensure now," said NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul. The ministry added that 90 lakh people have been given Covaxin so far as part of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive and only 307 people have experienced some side effects from taking the vaccine. The results of Phase-3 clinical trials of Covaxin had been released a few days ago, the result had shown that the vaccine had 81 per cent efficacy.
Following the Phase-3 trials results, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation had approved emergency use authorisation for Covaxin on Wednesday. Earlier the emergency use of the jab was permitted only in clinical trial mode; the stipulation has been removed.
The Health Ministry in its briefing had also stated India is only behind the US when it comes to the number of doses administered in the first 53 days of each country's respective COVID-19 vaccination programme. While the US administered 36.8 million doses, India has administered 25.6 million in 53 days of the COVID vaccination drive. Behind India in third place is Brazil followed by Turkey, the UK, Israel and Germany, in that order.
Health Ministry added that 2,56,90,545 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered so far in the country. These include 67,86,086 people above 60 years of age and people aged 45-60 with comorbidities, who have been administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the second phase of the nationwide vaccination drive.
In the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, 71,97,541 healthcare workers and 70,55,074 frontline workers had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While only, 40,13,890 healthcare workers and 6,37,954 frontline workers have shown up to take the second dose so far.
The ministry added that 13 states and UTs and have administered the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to more than 80 per cent of the eligible healthcare workers. Meanwhile, 8 states and UTs have administered the second dose to more than 60 per cent of eligible frontline workers.
The majority of the COVID-19 vaccine inoculations in the country have taken place in government facilities. According to the Health Ministry, 71.23 per cent of all doses have been administered in public facilities while the remaining 28.77 per cent were at private facilities. Out of all the people who have already been administered the vaccine only 0.020 per cent have reported Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) and only 0.00025 per cent have been undergone hospitalisation post-inoculation.