India approved two vaccines for emergency use on January 3. The Serum Institute of India has been manufacturing the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca. Meanwhile, private Indian company Bharat Biotech and the government-run Indian Council of Medical Research jointly developed the Covaxin vaccine, and manufactured it locally.
Both vaccines will be administered in two doses. According to India’s Health Minister, the first phase will be free for the “most prioritized beneficiaries.”
AstroZeneca has released interim Phase 3 trial data, showing an average vaccine efficacy of 70%. Bharat Biotech has not yet released any Phase 3 efficacy data, but said its vaccine showed “acceptable safety profile and high immune response” with no serious side effects.
The first phase of India’s vaccination plan covers 300 million high-priority people, including health care workers and vulnerable citizens who are expected to receive two doses by August.