Home >Science >Health >Covishield to wait till February for global distribution and use

Covishield—the AstraZeneca-Oxford University developed vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India’s (SII) rolled out in India’s covid-19 vaccination program will have to wait until February for global use.

COVAX, a global joint initiative of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed at providing equal access to covid-19 vaccines in over 92 low- and middle-income countries has said that it has an existing agreement with SII to receive its first 100 million doses for global distribution. But, of these first 100 million doses, the majority are earmarked for delivery in the first quarter of the year, pending WHO Emergency Use Listing.

“The WHO review process, which is currently underway, follows approval for restricted use in emergency situations by the Drugs Controller General of India earlier this month, and is a critical aspect of ensuring that any vaccine procured through COVAX is fully quality assured for international use," the WHO said adding that a decision on this vaccine candidate is anticipated by the middle of February.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO had earlier indicated that it is looking forward to SII’s full data sets for rapid assessment to consider it for emergency use globally. The COVAX Facility intends to provide all 190 participating economies with an indicative allocation of doses by the end of this month.

India on January rolled out its nationwide covid-19 vaccination program in which the Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Covishield are being inoculated after being accorded Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The cumulative number of healthcare workers vaccinated against covid-19 reached 19,50,183 through 35,785 sessions on Monday, as per the provisional report. Over 3,34,679 beneficiaries were vaccinated through 7,171 sessions till 7.10 pm on Monday, the tenth day of nationwide covid-19 vaccination. Also, 348 adverse event following immunization (AEFIs) were also reported. Karnataka has so far seen the highest number of vaccinations with 2,30,119 persons inoculated followed by Odhisha with 1,77,090 and Andhra Pradesh with 1,55,453 persons vaccinated so far.

The covid-19 cases continue to rise in India at a slow pace compared to earlier months. India’s active caseload is currently 1,84,182. A bulk of the active cases is contributed by merely two States. Kerala and Maharashtra alone account for more than 64.71% of the Total Active cases. Kerala accounts for 39.7% of the active cases whereas Maharashtra contributes 25% of the total active cases, the union health ministry said. While 13,203 new cases were added to the national tally in the last 24 hours, 131 new deaths were also recorded in the last 24 hours that is lowest in 8 months. India has conducted a total of 19,23,37,117 tests till today.

At least 81.26% of the new cases are concentrated in 6 States and UTs. Kerala reported the maximum daily new cases numbering 6,036 in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra recorded 2,752 new cases while Karnataka has reported 573 new cases yesterday, the government said. Seven States/UTs account for 80.15% of the 131 case fatalities reported in the past 24 hours. Maharashtra has reported 45 deaths. Kerala and Delhi follow with 20 and 9 new deaths, respectively, the government said. The UK strain of virus has infected over 150 persons in India. The total tally of covid-19 cases reached 1,06,72,185 and the deaths mounted to 1,54,750 on Monday.

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