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Covaxin may get WHO approval soon as discussions are progressing, says Shringla

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 29, 2021

Harsh Vardhan Shringla

India’s proposal for mutually acceptable vaccine certification to be taken up at G 20 Summit

The Centre is hopeful that Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin will get WHO approval soon as discussions are progressing, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said.

India has proposed a mutually acceptable Covid-19 vaccine certification framework to its partner countries to ensure a simplified international travel regime and many have agreed to it, Shringla said on Thursday at a briefing on PM Narendra Modi’s travel to Rome for the G-20 Summit and to Glasgow for World Leaders’ Summit of COP-26 from October 29 to November 2.

“The WHO’s technical advisory group, which is a regulatory group, met on October 26. It had asked a few questions to Bharat Biotech. We were informed that they (the company) will give answers at the earliest. Once the queries of the regulatory group are satisfactorily answered, approval for Covaxin should come fast after that,” the Foreign Secretary said.

‘Recognising certification’

On vaccine certification, the FS pointed out that India had proposed to partner countries that they should recognise India’s vaccine certification and India will mutually recognise their vaccine certification. “The advantage is that as we keep adding new vaccines to our stock of national vaccines, one need not go to each country to get their recognition….A number of countries have already agreed to that. We have achieved reciprocal arrangements with a number of countries,” Shringla said.

India will take up the proposal with the G-20 and also bilaterally and pluri-laterally with other countries.

G 20 leaders are expected to come out with a concrete outcome in combating the Covid-19 pandemic and similar challenges in the future, Shringla said. Modi is scheduled to call on Pope Francis in the Vatican City and will meet other leaders including Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

India is looking forward to objective discussions and a balanced outcome from the COP-26 meet, the Foreign Secretary said.

Published on October 28, 2021

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