AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria said that COVID-19 vaccines, which are currently in their final trial stage in India, will get emergency use authorisation by December end or early January.
"In India, we now have vaccines which are in their final trial stage. Hopeful that by the end of this month or early next month we should get emergency use authorisation from Indian regulatory authorities to start giving vaccine to public," said Guleria.
The AIIMS director also mentioned that work on COVID-19 vaccine is being done on war-footing, both on the Centre-level and state-level, for establishing a concrete vaccine distribution plan in terms of - maintaining cold chain, having appropriate storehouses available, developing strategy, training vaccine administrators and ensuring the availability of syringes.
Talking about the recent allegation made by Chennai-based volunteer against Oxford vaccine trails, Guleria said that the case is an incidental finding rather than related to the COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
"As per the information available in the public domain, the Chennai trial case is an incidental finding rather than related to the vaccine. When we vaccinate a large number of people, some of them may have some other disease, which may not be related to the vaccine," Guleria added. He maintained that in short-term use the vaccine is safe.
"There is good data available that the vaccines are very safe. Safety and efficacy of vaccine not compromised at all. About 70,000-80,000 volunteers were given the vaccine and no significant serious adverse effects seen. Data shows that in the short term vaccine is safe," the AIIMS director added.
A Chennai-based volunteer had alleged having serious side effects caused by the 'Covishield ' vaccine and had sought Rs 5 crore compensation in a legal notice sent to SII and others. The volunteer was also seeking a halt to the testing, manufacturing, and distribution of the vaccine.
However, Serum Institute of India, the clinical trial sponsor of the 'Covishield' vaccine in India, issued a notice, saying that the allegations were "malicious and misconceived" and had threatened to file a Rs 100-crore defamation suit against the volunteer.