New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Thursday hinted that it might soon give its approval for emergency use authorisation to Serum Institute of India's (SII) COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' in the country.

"Probably we will have a new year with something in hand," DCGI's Dr VG Somani said during a webinar, as reported by an English news channel.

Currently, Pfizer, SII and Bharat Biotech have applied for emergency use authorisation in India. Out of the three vaccine candidates, SII's Covishield is the front-runner in getting approval from the DCGI.

Earlier, news agency PTI had reported that Covishield, which has already got approval in the United Kingdom (UK), will be the first vaccine to get a nod in India. PTI had reported that Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' will unlikely get approval soon as its phase three trials are still underway.

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Meanwhile, SII Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adar Poonawalla has said that it has stockpiled around 50 million dosages of the vaccine and aims to produce up to 100 million dosages per month by March next year.

"This is great and encouraging news. We will wait for the final approval from Indian regulators," SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said in a statement.

'India will have COVID-19 vaccine soon'

Earlier, All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria had also hinted that Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will likely get an approval for emergency use authorisation soon and termed its approval in the UK as a "big step forward".

"This vaccine can be stored at two to eight degrees centigrade. Therefore it would be easy to store and transportation. Storage can be done using a simple fridge rather than what is required in the Pfizer vaccine of minus 70 degrees centigrade," he had said.

Currently, India has eight COVID-19 vaccine candidates in different stages of clinical trails. Out of them, three are in advanced stages of trails.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma