India clears Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for restricted emergency use

India clears Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for restricted emergency use

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given its approval to the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, allowing Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company Cipla to begin importing the jab for restricted emergency use.

Confirming the emergency usage approval for the Moderna jab, Indian Health Ministry official VK Paul stated that “this new drug permission for restricted emergency use is now in operation.”

Cipla, an Indian pharmaceutical company, requested approval to begin importing and marketing the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, with the DCGI swiftly giving it the go ahead “as per the provisions of the new Drugs and Clinical Trial Rules.”

Separate to the statement on Moderna’s emergency usage approval, the DCGI confirmed that the US government has agreed to donate doses of the vaccine to the Indian government’s inoculation program under the Covax scheme. 

In May, it was reported that Cipla was close to reaching a deal with Moderna to bring 50 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to India by 2022. 

Moderna will join Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V as an approved Covid vaccine in India. The country’s health department is in the process of preparing to start using a domestically produced version of the Novavax jab. Pfizer is also reportedly “in the final stages” of securing approval for usage in India, according to company’s CEO Albert Bourla, with the pharma giant hoping to “finalize an agreement with the government” very soon.

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India, which has recorded the second-highest tally of Covid cases in the world, has managed to vaccinate more than 329 million people to date.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Asian nation has reported 396,730 deaths from the virus, and recently brought a deadly wave that plunged the nation into lockdown under control.

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