WHO meets on Tuesday to consider Covaxin approval

Covaxin is an indigenous Indian Covid shot

WHO meets on Tuesday to consider Covaxin approval

Photo for representational purpose only. PTI file

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 25

The World Health Organization’s technical advisory group will meet on Tuesday to consider emergency use listing of India’s indigenous Covid 19 vaccine, Covaxin.

World body’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said today, “The technical advisory group will meet on October 26 to consider emergency use listing for Covaxin. The WHO has been working closely with Bharat Biotech to complete the dossier.”

Swaminathan said that the WHO’s goal was to have a broad portfolio of vaccines approved for emergency use and to expand access to populations everywhere.

Bharat Biotech, the Covaxin manufacturer, has been submitting data to the WHO on a rolling basis and submitted additional information at WHO’s request on September 27.

WHO experts have reviewed the information available and Bharat Biotech is learnt to have addressed most of the queries raised by the world body.

Covaxin is an indigenous Indian Covid shot, developed and produced here.

Several countries have expressed interest in Covaxin with India considering exports of surplus stocks once domestic production increases.

So far the WHO has included six vaccines in its EUL. These are Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, SII-AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

Bharat Biotech, the makers of Covaxin, said that as responsible manufacturers with past approvals to other vaccines, the firm is working with the WHO to obtain EUL at the earliest.

Approval for Covaxin would make travel for Indians inoculated with the shot and others easier considering Covaxin has not gained approvals from national regulators of some countries including of the EU and the UK.

Bharat Biotech chairman Krishna Ella today said there was nothing pending from the Indian side with respect to documentation required by the WHO for considering approval to Covaxin.

He said he would not like to comment any further on the regulatory process.

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