The two coronavirus vaccines-"Covishield" and "Covaxin"-manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech Ltd respectively will be ready for rollout in 10 days from the "emergency use" authorisation approvals.
"We are prepared to roll out vaccine within 10 days of emergency use authorisation approvals…The final call will be taken by the government," said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan at a media briefing here this evening.
The government's announcement will pave the way for the massive vaccination drive ending speculations about the time frame of beginning the drive following approval of the two Coronavirus vaccines by the Indian drug regulators.
Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on Sunday gave final approval to two vaccines – Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin – against coronavirus infection – for "restricted emergency use".
Today's announcement for vaccine rollout came amid the growing number of the highly infectious new UK variant of mutant strain recorded in the country. A total of 58 cases of mutant strain have been recorded in India so far with 20 fresh cases recorded during the last 24 hours.
Besides, CEO of Serum Institute of India Adar Poonawalla told media recently that his company is expected to reach 70-80 million doses of actual supply in the next 30 to 45 days after completing some formalities.
Meanwhile, the SII and Bharat Biotech today issued a joint statement saying that they had pledged to ensure a smooth roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines to India and the world.
Both the vaccine makers communicated their combined intent to develop, manufacture and supply Covid-19 vaccines. "Vaccines are a global public health good and they have the power to save lives and accelerate the return to economic normalcy at the earliest," it said.
"We are fully aware of the importance of vaccines for people and countries alike, we hereby communicate our joint pledge to provide global access for our Covid-19 vaccines," the statement read.