As Covaxin awaits nod, WHO official says, ‘it takes longer sometimes’
The World Health Organisation (WHO), which has yet to provide a formal nod to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin – India's indigenously made vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) – said on Friday the process of approval takes longer sometimes.
A top official of the global health body said the process of thoroughly evaluating a vaccine for use and recommending it sometimes takes a long time but it has to be ensured that the right advice is given to the world “even if it takes another week or two.”
Dr Mike Ryan, the executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said that the UN agency is “very clear” that it wants all countries to recognise vaccines that have been given an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the WHO advisory process. “But it is also very important that WHO, when it makes a recommendation like that, is making that globally,” he added.
According to a PTI report, the WHO official was responding to a question over when there will be a definitive answer to the Covaxin EUL.
Earlier this week, the international public health body had said that it “cannot cut corners” to recommend Covaxin’s inclusion in the EUL for vaccination against Covid-19. The agency said it is expecting one additional piece of information from the Covaxin manufacturer which has been submitting data to the WHO on a rolling basis.
“We are aware many people are waiting for WHO’s recommendation for Covaxin to be included in the #COVID19 Emergency Use Listing, but we cannot cut corners - before recommending a product for emergency use, we must evaluate it thoroughly to make sure it is safe and effective,” the WHO said in a series of tweets.
The WHO nod for Covaxin’s emergency use authorisation is a much-anticipated one for its widespread acceptability as a safe and effective vaccine.