New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated India saying the DCGI granting approval to vaccines of Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech accelerates the road to COVID-free nation.Also Read - Covishield of Serum Institute, Covaxin of Bharat Biotech Get DCGI Approval As Coronavirus Vaccines

In a series of tweets after the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Oxford’s vaccine Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for restricted emergency use, PM Modi said it will make every Indian proud that both the vaccines are made in India. Also Read - The Wait Is Over, Approval Of 2 Coronavirus Vaccines Paves Way For Mass Rollout In India | All We Know

“A decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight! DCGI granting approval to vaccines of @SerumInstIndia and @BharatBiotech accelerates the road to a healthier and COVID-free nation. Congratulations India. Congratulations to our hardworking scientists and innovators,” PM Modi tweeted. Also Read - India Gets 2 Coronavirus Vaccines, Approves Covaxin, Covishield For Restricted Emergency Use | Updates

He said in another tweet, “It would make every Indian proud that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval are made in India! This shows the eagerness of our scientific community to fulfil the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, at the root of which is care and compassion.”

“We reiterate our gratitude to doctors, medical staff, scientists, police personnel, sanitation workers and all Corona warriors for the outstanding work done, that too in adverse circumstances. We will remain eternally grateful to them for saving many lives,” PM Modi added.

Eleven months after the first case of deadly coronavirus was detected in India, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) V.G. Somani on Sunday approved Serum Institute of India’s ‘Covishield’ vaccine and Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ for emergency use, paving the way for their roll-out and administration to millions.

This is a major relief for India which has the second highest number of infections in the world, after the US. The central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of drive in the next six to eight months.

The vaccine will be first offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with two crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with co-morbidities.

The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has tied up with Oxford-AstraZeneca to manufacture Covishield.

Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The approval by the DCGI was given on the basis of recommendations submitted by a COVID-19 subject expert committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).