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Coronavirus in India: Emergency approval for two vaccines

The authorities in India have issued emergency approval for two corona vaccines. One of the largest vaccination campaigns in the world is about to start in the country with around 1.3 billion inhabitants.

By Bernd Musch-Borowska, ARD Studio New Delhi

In India, up to 300 million people are expected to be immunized against the coronavirus in the next six to eight months. Two vaccines received emergency approval from the regulatory authority in Delhi. On Saturday, a panel of experts recommended the government’s approval, and now the General Inspector for Pharmaceutical Products, Venugopal Somani, has given the go-ahead.

“After careful examination, we accepted the recommendations of the expert commission, which means that the so-called Oxford vaccine from Astra Zeneca and the vaccine from the Indian institute Bharat Biotech will be approved for use in emergencies,” said Somani. Doctors and medical staff as well as other so-called frontline workers, including police officers, are vaccinated against the pandemic. This was announced by the health minister of the capital Delhi, Satyander Jain.

Five million vaccinations in the first phase

“We are prepared to give 100,000 vaccinations per day in Delhi. First, medical staff are vaccinated, then other systemically important people and later everyone over 50 years of age or younger with pre-existing conditions. More than five million people are on our list for the first Vaccination phase, “said the minister.

In the test centers in Delhi and elsewhere, the vaccination procedures were run through again. In doing so, the authorities rely on the already established cooperation between health authorities and non-governmental organizations, which has proven itself in other vaccination campaigns, for example against polio. India’s Minister of Health, Harsh Vardhan, said: “Trials were carried out in numerous districts in selected states. These involved administering the vaccine, but also safety issues, transport and storage.”

Two vaccines are still awaiting approval

The Indian serum institute, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccination products, has reportedly already 50 million doses of the Oxford vaccine in stock. Two more preparations are still awaiting approval, the Russian Sputnik V and the product developed by Biontech and Pfizer.

The approval of two vaccines against the coronavirus in India strengthens hopes that the pandemic will end soon. On New Year’s Day, thousands of people came to the temples to pray for a healthy New Year – in many places, however, like the golden temple of the Sikhs in Amritsar, without masks and observance of distance rules, as if the corona pandemic didn’t even exist. One of the believers puts his hopes on 2021: “I have come to pray that the Supreme Creator will guide us through 2021. 2020 was not a good year, so we hope that we will get the coronavirus in the new year Get rid of.

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