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WHO's approval for COVAXIN: Govt says milestone to be achieved soon

Centre said it is working with Bharat Biotech and WHO for COVIXIN approval (REUTERS)Premium
Centre said it is working with Bharat Biotech and WHO for COVIXIN approval (REUTERS)

  • Centre said, We have been working with Bharat Biotech and WHO, data sharing is on, we are keen that this milestone is achieved soon
  • A WHO recognition for Covaxin would also give Indian vaccine development a boost, with at least four more India-developed vaccine candidates in various stages of trial

The country is looking forward to World Health Organization (WHO)'s approval for Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, the Centre noted on Friday. It further said that 'the milestone will be achieved soon' and 'the process of data sharing is going on.'

Speaking on the topic, Dr. VK Paul, Member (Health) Niti Aayog, during a press briefing regarding the coronavirus situation in India, said, We have been working with Bharat Biotech and WHO, data sharing is on, we are keen that this milestone is achieved soon. We are pursuing it.

Last month, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, which manufactures the homegrown covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, said it had submitted 90% of the documentation needed for WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL). The rest of the documents are to be submitted this month.

A WHO recognition for Covaxin would also give Indian vaccine development a boost, with at least four more India-developed vaccine candidates in various stages of trial. The Indian foreign ministry has been coordinating with Bharat Biotech to secure WHO recognition for the vaccine.

It is also speculated that countries may allow travellers inoculated only by the vaccines which have WHO approval.

Speaking on the similar lines, Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla during his address to the WHO's “South-East Asia Regional Health Partners’ Forum on COVID-19" said, “We are also looking forward to WHO’s approval for India’s indigenous vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech."

Regulatory approvals in process in several countries

The company had said earlier that regulatory approvals for Covaxin are in process in more than 60 countries including the USA, Brazil and Hungary among others.

"Regulatory approvals for Covaxin are in process in over 60 countries. Emergency Use Authorisations have been obtained in 13 countries with more to follow," the Indian vaccine manufacturer said in a statement last month

Most countries recommend vaccinations against Covid-19. Unvaccinated travellers can travel with negative RT-PCR tests prior to travel, in the absence of any other country-specific travel restrictions, Bharat Biotech had also said.

India has overtaken US in terms of the number of people who got their 1st jab

Speaking on the topic of vaccination pace, the Centre said, India has to buy time to ensure that high coverage of vaccination against COVID-19 is achieved.

"We have to buy time to ensure high coverage of vaccination against COVID-19 is achieved," it said. About 43 per cent of 60 years plus population has been vaccinated, while 37 per cent people above 45 years has been inoculated so far, the government said.

It also said, India has overtaken US in terms of the number of people who have received at least a single dose of the vaccine

As per Our World in Data, the number of people who have received at least one dose of vaccine in India is 17.2 crore. We have overtaken the US in terms of the number of people in our country who have received the first dose of vaccine, the government said.

There has been a steady drop in COVID cases: Govt

Regarding the steady drop in the number of cases, the government said, almost 68 per cent decline has been noted in COVID-19 cases since the highest reported peak of cases on May 7.

There has been a decrease in active cases by more than 21 lakh since the peak of active cases on May 10, it said.

Presently, there are 377 districts reporting less than 5 per cent case positivity rate, the government said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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