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India's first Covid-19 vaccine Covishield which was approved by country's drug regulator today is safe, effective and ready for roll-out in the coming weeks, said Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla today.

Taking to Twitter, Poonawalla said, "Happy new year, everyone! All the risks @SerumInstIndia took with stockpiling the vaccine have finally paid off. COVISHIELD, India's first COVID-19 vaccine is approved, safe, effective, and ready to roll-out in the coming weeks."

He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

"Thank you Hon. Sri @narendramodi Ji, Hon. Sri @drharshvardhan Ji, @MoHFW_INDIA @ICMRDELHI@DBTIndia #DCGI_India@UniofOxford @AstraZeneca @gavi @GaviSeth @gatesfoundationand @BillGates for your support, @drharshvardhan ji, thank you for launching PNEUMONSIL, manufactured by @SerumInstIndia, the first made-in-India vaccine to prevent the disease of Pneumonia in children. Thank you @MoHFW_INDIA @gatesfoundation @PATHtweets and especially @BillGates," he tweeted.

He also thanked Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Earlier today, COVID-19 vaccines of Serum Institue of India and Bharat Biotech have been granted permission for restricted use in an emergency situation, paving the way for a huge inoculation program.

Drugs Controller General Dr. Venugopal G Somani said that both vaccines will be administered in two dosages.

Somani said the decision to approve the vaccines was taken after “careful examination" by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the vaccine approval a “decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight."

“Congratulations India," Modi tweeted.

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