CEO Serum Institute tweeted “All the risks that Serum India 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.”
On the other hand, opposition raises issues on the effectiveness of vaccines. Shashi Tharror and MP on Trivandum tweeted “The Covaxin has not yet had Phase 3 trials. Approval was premature and could be dangerous. Its use should be avoided till full trials are over. India can start with the AstraZeneca vaccine in the meantime.” Another senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also raised concerns and asked Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan to clarify why internationally-accepted protocols on phase 3 trials are being modified.
The Drugs Controller General of India in a press release stated that the vaccines are safe to use. The vaccines are immunogenic with three doses when administered intra-dermally. For each person, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford Astrazenenca's Covishield vaccines have to be administered in 2 doses. Also the drug regulator also allowed Cadila Healthcare to conduct its phase 3 trials and all the three vaccines have to be stored at 2-8° C.
International Organization WHO also welcomes the first emergency use authorization given to COVID-19 vaccine in the WHO South-East Asia Region. Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director WHO South-East Asia Region said that the “decision taken by India will help intensify and strengthen the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the Region. The use of vaccine in prioritized populations, along with continued implementation of other public health measures and community participation will be important in reducing the impact of COVID-19."