India's decision to approve two vaccines - Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin - is a "watershed moment" in its fight against COVID-19, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan tweeted this afternoon, shortly after the drug regulator DCGI made the big announcement. He dedicated the two vaccines to those who have been on the frontline in India's battle against the highly infectious diseases that has affected over 1.3 crore people across India.
"A watershed moment in India's famed battle against #COVID19 under the charismatic leadership of Hon'ble PM Sh @narendramodi Ji ! Our wait for #COVID19vaccine is over with COVISHIELD from @SerumInstIndia & COVAXIN from @BharatBiotech approved for emergency use in India @PMOIndia," Dr Harsh Vardhan tweeted this afternoon.
"These vaccines are a fitting tribute to our corona warriors! My heartfelt gratitude to all healthcare professionals & frontline workers for their exemplary efforts during these unprecedented times. Congratulations to all the scientists & researchers for their untiring efforts," he wrote in another.
A watershed moment in India's famed battle against #COVID19 under the charismatic leadership of Hon'ble PM Sh @narendramodi Ji !— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 3, 2021
Our wait for #COVID19vaccine is over with COVISHIELD from @SerumInstIndia & COVAXIN from @BharatBiotech approved for emergency use in India@PMOIndiapic.twitter.com/sqjsetqHnU
It's now time to reap the benefits of the robust supply chain infrastructure we've put in place for quick & equitable distribution of the vaccine— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 3, 2021
Urge all citizens to entrust the stringent protocols followed for ensuring safety, efficacy & immunogenicity of the approved vaccines
In his tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also praised the healthworkers.
We reiterate our gratitude to doctors, medical staff, scientists, police personnel, sanitation workers and all Corona warriors for the outstanding work done, that too in adverse circumstances. We will remain eternally grateful to them for saving many lives.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 3, 2021
It would make every Indian proud that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval are made in India! This shows the eagerness of our scientific community to fulfil the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, at the root of which is care and compassion.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 3, 2021
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech's Covaxin is India's first indigenously developed vaccine. It is in the third phase of trials, which began in November.
Covishield has been developed by the Serum Institute of India in partnership with the Oxford University and European pharma major AstraZeneca.
"We'll never approve anything if there is slightest of safety concern. The vaccines are 100 per cent safe," Drug Controller General of India VG Somani said today.
Yesterday, the Health Minster had said free coronavirus vaccines will be given in the first phase to three crore people who have been on the frontline in the fight against the highly contagious disease."
"There should be no rumours about the vaccine's safety...Everything has been checked in detail. Initially when the polio vaccine was rolled out, even then rumours had floated. But once it went on the floor, all people were assured about the safety," he said, assuring the safety of the vaccine.