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India now has four vaccines, will close deal with Pfizer soon

Covid Task Force chief VK Paul on Tuesday said that the US vaccine manufacturing giant Moderna has been granted restricted emergency use authorisation for its Covid-19 vaccine in India. Moderna now becomes the fourth Covid-19 vaccine that will be used in India’s vaccination drive.

Dr VK Paul added that the government will soon close the deal on Pfizer soon.

“There are four vaccines now Covaxin, Covishield, SputnikV and Moderna. We will soon close the deal on Pfizer as well,” Dr VK Paul said at a press conference.

Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine
Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine mRNA-1273 was developed by the pharmaceutical company in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) in the US. It is sold under the brand name ‘Spikevax’ in the US.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Moderna vaccine has shown to have an efficacy of approximately 94.1 per cent in protecting against Covid-19, starting 14 days after the first jab.

Additionally, the WHO said that based on the evidence collected so far, the new variants of SARS-CoV-2, including the B.1.1.7 and the 501Y.V2, do not alter the effectiveness of the Moderna mRNA vaccine.

Earlier, Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company Cipla had filed an application with the DCGI, seeking permission to import Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine in India. Cipla had also requested for marketing authorisation of these jabs.

With Moderna being granted restricted emergency use authorization on Tuesday, India has now expanded its Covid-19 vaccine kitty.

Vaccination drive in India
According to the union health ministry, over 33 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered under the nationwide vaccination drive by Tuesday afternoon.

In the month of June, an average of 40 lakh jabs was administered each day.

As per the official data, among the 33 crore doses administered so far in the country, 14.99 doses were administered to female, and 17.48 crore doses were administered to male.

Vaccination for pregnant women
DR VK Paul on Tuesday said that an advisory for pregnant women regarding vaccination will be released soon. He added that the vaccine is safe for pregnant women, and the health Ministry is examining it further.

Covid-19 cases in India
The health ministry on Tuesday said that India is witnessing a declining trend in Clovid-19 cases, with only 111 districts across the country reporting more than 100 daily cases. The recovery rate currently stands at 96.9 per cent.

Currently, there are 5.5 lakh active cases in India, according to the official data.

On an average, 18 lakh samples are being tested for the virus on a daily basis. India Today

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