“Drugs Controller General of India has granted permission to Cipla to import Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for restricted emergency use in the country as per the provisions of the New Drugs and Clinical Trial Rules, 2019 under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940,” a source told PTI.
In separate communications, Moderna on June 27 informed DCGI that the US government has agreed to donate a certain number of doses of its coronavirus vaccine through COVAX to India for use here and sought an approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for the vaccines.
Moderna’s vaccine will be the fourth coronavirus vaccine to be available in India after Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik.
“This permission is for restricted use in emergency situations in public interest. The firm has to submit 7 days safety assessment of the vaccine in first 100 beneficiaries before rolling out of vaccine for further immunisation programme, according to the approval order,” an official said.
Moderna’s method to protect against Covid-19 relies on messenger RNA (mRNA) to programme cells to generate immunity to the coronavirus. This vaccine along with Pfizer are viewed as a preferred choice among wealthy countries, analysts said, based on clinical trial data showing they were more than 90 percent effective at preventing symptomatic coronavirus.
About 120 million Americans have received a Pfizer or Moderna shot so far with no major safety issue identified.
The United States and European Union are pushing to stock up on even more of the mRNA vaccines. Japan is also working to secure 100 million doses of Pfizer’s shot by the end of June.