Coronavirus: India approves AstraZeneca, local COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use

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India has authorized the emergency use of two coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and by local pharmaceutical firm Bharat Biotech, the country's drug regulator said Sunday.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

“The... vaccines of Serum Institute (AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine) and Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situations,” the Drugs Controller General of India, V.G. Somani, said at a briefing.

The approval is expected to kick off one of the world's biggest vaccination drives in coming days in the country of 1.3 billion people.

India is the world's second most-infected nation with more than 10.3 million cases and almost 150,000 deaths.

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