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Govt Steps in to Expedite Approval for Covaxin as the Indigenous Vaccine Yet to Receive WHO Endorsement

File photo of Covaxin vaccine.

File photo of Covaxin vaccine.

As the US and the Europe will reopen soon, the government is trying to ensure that those vaccinated with Covaxin, particularly students are not denied entry by the countries.

India’s indigenous Covid vaccine Covaxin may have proven adequate efficacy but its endorsement from the WHO remains a cause of concern for the government. The concern for the vaccine aggravates as only a handful of countries have confirmed they will allow entry of those vaccinated by Covaxin.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla will hold a meeting on Monday with Bharat Biotech, the company manufacturing Covaxin, to expedite the process of WHO approval for the indigenous vaccine in India, a Times of India report said.

Covaxin report is pending at the WHO and the government will work with Bharat Biotech to expedite the process, sources reportedly said.

As the US and the Europe will reopen soon, the government is trying to ensure that those vaccinated with Covaxin, particularly students are not denied entry by the countries.

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The report quoted official sources saying that while some countries have approved Covaxin, many others are likely to do so when the vaccine report is ready for export.

An emergency use approval is likely to encourage countries to import Covaxin, facilitate its manufacturing abroad and ease travel for those vaccinated with it. The emergency listing will also mean that Covaxin can be used to Covax, the global vaccine alliance, later to vaccinate people in many developing countries.

The report said more than 40 countries have expressed interest in Covaxin and seem satisfied with what the manufacturer calls safe, inactivated vaccine technology and robust data package for safety and immunogenicity.

WHO will likely seek more clinical data and information about the manufacturing practice before approving.

Bharat Biotech earlier said its COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ has been found to be effective against coronavirus strains found in India and the UK. Citing a study published in peer-reviewed medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the Hyderabad-based vaccine major noted that vaccination with Covaxin produced neutralising titres against all key emerging variants tested, including B.1.617 and B.1.1.7, first identified in India and the UK, respectively.

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first published:May 23, 2021, 11:02 IST