New Delhi: The subject expert committee (SEC) of the national drugs regulator on Friday approved Serum Institute’s Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine ‘Covishield’ for emergency use in India with conditions.Also Read - How Effective Is COVISHIELD Against Omicron Variant? Serum Institute's Adar Poonawalla Explains

The Serum Institute of India had earlier said that more than 5 crore doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have already been stockpiled and the shots could start to be transported from cold storage to all states as early as Saturday. Also Read - Nepal, India to Recognise Covid Vaccine Certification

“For the Government of India, Covishield will be about USD 3 per dose, so USD 6 [Rs 440] per person but for the private market it will cost around Rs 700-800,” Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla said in a statement. Also Read - SII Urges Govt to Fast-Track Movement of Increasing Covishield Stock

The development comes as the expert panel on COVID-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) is holding meeting to approve the emergency use of the vaccines.

The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has tied up with AstraZeneca to manufacture Covishield.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Wednesday had approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by scientists at Oxford University and produced by AstraZeneca for human use.

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 of the CDSCO, which had earlier sought additional safety and immunogenicity data from SII, deliberated on its application seeking emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the shots on Wednesday, and met again on Friday to review the matter.

The SII had applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for EUA for Oxford COVID-19 vaccine on December 6, while the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech had sought the nod for its indigenously developed Covaxin on December 7. Pfizer had applied for regulatory approval for its vaccine on December 4.