WHO approves emergency use listing for Serum Institute's Covovax
The global health body previously granted EUL to Covishield and Covaxin, the two most widely used vaccines in India's inoculation drive.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Friday it has granted Emergency Use Listing (EUL) to Covovax, the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in partnership with the US-based Novavax.
“Covovax was assessed under the WHO EUL procedure based on the review of data on quality, safety and efficacy, a risk management plan, programmatic sustainability, and manufacturing site inspections carried out by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). The Technical Advisory Group for Emergency Use Listing has determined that the vaccine meets WHO standards for protection against Covid-19, that the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs any risks, and that it can be used gloally,” the global health body noted in a statement.
Reacting to the announcement, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Pune-based SII tweeted, “This is yet another milestone in our fight against Covid-19, Covovax is now WHO approved for emergency use, showing excellent safety and efficacy. Thank you all for a great collaboration."
Covovax is the third India-related jab to be approved by the WHO, Covishield and Covaxin being the earlier two. The former is the Indian variant of Britain's AstraZeneca jab, and is also manufactured by the Serum Institute, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer. The latter, meanwhile, is India's first indigenous anti-Covid shot, and has been developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited, located in Hyderabad.
A subunit of the Novavax vaccine, Covovax has a two-dose regimen and is the ninth to receive emergency use approval from the WHO. However, it is yet to be granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the DCGI, the top drugs regulator in India.