WHO approval will expedite Covaxin imports, allow procurement by COVAX: Bharat Biotech
- WHO’s approval also means those inoculated with Covaxin will also be able to travel internationally to countries that recognize vaccines authorized by the public health body.
Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of India's indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, said World Health Organization’s emergency use listing (EUL) approval will help countries “expedite their regulatory approval processes to import and administer Covaxin”.
“UNICEF, Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), GAVI COVAX facility, will be able to procure Covaxin for distribution to countries worldwide,” the company added.
Global vaccine alliance COVAX, which is co-led by CEPI, Gavi and WHO, UNICEF, and PAHO, only procures vaccines approved by WHO. This initiative supplies vaccines to poor nations and countries facing issues acquiring supplies.
WHO gave Covaxin the green light on Wednesday after months of delay.
"Covaxin vaccine was also reviewed by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), and recommended use of this vaccine in two doses, with a dose interval of four weeks, in all age groups 18 and above," WHO said in a series of tweets.
WHO’s approval also means those inoculated with Covaxin will also be able to travel internationally to countries that recognize vaccines authorized by the public health body. Covaxin is the second most administered Covid-19 jab after Serum Institute of India’s Covishield.
Covaxin was the result of a collaborative effort between Bharat Biotech, the Indian Council Of Medical Research (ICMR), and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). Balaram Bhargava, director general of ICMR, heralded WHO’s approval for opening up the whole world for the country’s first indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine.
“With this, the whole world opens up for us, for sending this vaccine. Now that we have administered a large number of vaccine doses, we will be able to send this absolutely indigenous vaccine to the rest of the world,” Bhargava told news agency ANI.