In a boost to India’s fight against coronavirus, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the emergency use of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in India.

Confirming the development, NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr VK Paul said that Moderna’s vaccine has been approved for emergency use. Indian multinational pharmaceutical company Cipla will now be able to import this vaccine into India.

“New drug permission has been granted to Moderna, the first internationally developed vaccine. This new drug permission is for restricted use,” Dr Paul said, adding that it will be administered in two doses.

After Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik, this will be the fourth vaccine that has been approved in India. This is the first international vaccine and has been developed by American pharma company Moderna. Its efficacy against coronavirus is said to be up to 94 percent.

It may be noted that on June 1, DCGI had relaxed the rules for foreign vaccines. As per the relaxations, if a foreign vaccine has been approved by America, Europe, Japan or WHO, then it does not need bridging trial in India. Citing this, Cipla had on Monday submitted an application seeking permission to import the vaccine.

Moderna said on Tuesday that the US government has agreed to donate a certain number of doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine through ‘Covax’ to the Indian government. Approval has been sought from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization for these vaccines.