A woman holds a small bottle labelled with a “Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine” sticker and a medical syringe in front of displayed Pfizer logo. (Reuters File Photo )
An expert committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) will meet on Wednesday to review applications of Pfizer, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech seeking emergency use authorisation for their Covid-19 vaccine candidates, official sources said on Monday night.
The decision was taken late on Monday evening after the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech became the third pharmaceutical firm to apply to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use authorisation for its indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin.
Also Read: Hailing ‘turning point’, Britain begins roll-out of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine
The Indian arm of US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer had on December 4 sought approval for its vaccine from the central drug regulator, after the firm secured such clearance in the UK and Bahrain.
The Pune-based Serum Institute of India sought the nod for the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, Covishield, on December 6.
“DCGI has already started processing the applications. The subject expert committee (SEC) on Covid-19 at CDSCO will deliberate on the applications by Pfizer, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech seeking emergency use authorisation for their COVID-19 vaccines on December 9,” a source said.
After evaluation, the SEC will give its recommendations to the DCGI on whether emergency use approval for the vaccine candidates should be granted or not, the source said.
At an all-party meeting on December 4, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed hope that a Covid-19 vaccine may be ready in a few weeks.