The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the use of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for children aged 12 years and above, while Oxford/AstraZeneca's Covishield manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has been allowed for use among people who are 18 years and above.
Both the vaccines got approval for emergency use authorisation on Sunday. They're both administered in two doses, the DCGI said in the permission letter.
This allows the vaccines to be offered to healthcare workers and frontline workers in India. The government has said that 3 crore such personnel, considered to be at a greater risk from the virus will be given the jab for free. However, which of the two vaccines approved will be given to these personnel is not yet known.
Although both vaccines have received the green light from the Indian government, they're both yet to complete Phase-3 trial, under which a vaccine is administered to volunteers at multiple locations across the country.
However, the vaccine's efficacy in Indian volunteers was comparable to that tested in overseas trials, said a statement from the Health Ministry.
SII's CEO Adar Poonawalla said the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine 'Covishield' will be sold to the Indian government at Rs 200 per dose and Rs 1,000 per dose to the private buyers.