Serum Institute seeks DCGI nod for Covishield booster shot amid Omicron scare

Published on Dec 01, 2021 11:15 PM IST

In an application to DCGI, Prakash Kumar Singh, director of government and regulatory affairs at Serum Institute of India wrote that there is no shortage of Covishield in India now and the demand for booster dose is rising by each passing day in wake of the emerging new strains of the coronavirus.

Prakash Kumar Singh, director of government and regulatory affairs at Pune-based SII, mentioned in his letter to DCGI that the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products regulatory agency has already approved the booster doses of AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine.(Representational Image / Bloomberg)
Prakash Kumar Singh, director of government and regulatory affairs at Pune-based SII, mentioned in his letter to DCGI that the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products regulatory agency has already approved the booster doses of AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine.(Representational Image / Bloomberg)
Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Serum Institute of India (SII) has sought approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for Covishield booster jabs. In an application to DCGI, Prakash Kumar Singh, director of government and regulatory affairs at Pune-based SII, referred to the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products regulatory agency giving a go-ahead to the booster doses of AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine.

Singh, according to news agency PTI, wrote in the application that Indians as well as citizens of other nations, who have already been fully jabbed against Covid-19 with two doses of Covishield, are “continuously requesting” the SII for booster shots.

He also cited several countries that already commenced administering Covid-19 vaccine booster shots to their citizens.

The application, which according to PTI, was sent by Singh to the DCGI on Tuesday, comes at a time the world is combating the Omicron strain of coronavirus, classified as a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Also Read | Amid Omicron scare, 3 Covid positive foreigners in Vrindavan leave India without informing authorities: Report

Singh also mentioned in the application that there is no shortage of Covishield in India now and the demand for booster dose is rising by each passing day in wake of the emerging new strains of the coronavirus.

Notably, the central government has informed Parliament that the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 are currently thinking about and considering the evidence for the requirement and justification of a booster jab.

India is yet to detect an Omicron variant of Covid-19. However, the country has laid down strict guidelines and revised norms in wake of the variant that was first discovered in South Africa, and has since spread to at least 15 nations.

On Tuesday, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a review meeting with the officials of all states and Union territories (UTs) to plan ahead lest the variant enters India. During the meeting, states and UTs were asked to ramp up testing and vaccination coverage, and also intensify the surveillance system.

 Meanwhile, the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) also extended the existing Covid-19 protocols in the country till December 31. The ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ (door-to-door) vaccination programme, which was launched in October as a month-long initiative, has also been extended till December 31 amid Omicron Covid-19 variant threat.

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