Hours after India's drugs regulator approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Sunday called it a "watershed moment" in India’s famed battle against COVID-19.
In a series of tweet, the Union Minister said these vaccines are a fitting tribute to our corona warriors. "My heartfelt gratitude to all healthcare professionals & frontline workers for their exemplary efforts during these unprecedented times. Congratulations to all the scientists & researchers for their untiring efforts," he said.
Urging all citizens to entrust the stringent protocols followed for ensuring safety, efficacy and immunogenicity of the approved vaccines, Dr Harsh Vardhan further said it's time to reap the benefits of the robust supply chain infrastructure put in place for quick & equitable distribution of the vaccine.
"A watershed moment in India’s famed battle against COVID-19 under leadership of PM Modi. Our wait for the vaccine is over with Covishield from Serum Institue of India and Covaxin from Bharat Biotech approved for emergency use in India," he added.
A day before, Harsh Vardhan announced that the COVID-19 vaccine would be provided free of cost across the country. "Not just in Delhi, it will be free across the country," said the minister while answering a query raised by the media.
In the first phase of vaccination, free vaccine shall be provided across the nation to most prioritised beneficiaries that include one crore healthcare and 2 crore frontline workers, said the minister.