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Emergency use tag for Covaxin: WHO panel to hold crucial meet on Tuesday

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on October 25, 2021

International travel requires people to get a vaccine that’s on the WHO’s approved list

The World Health Organisation’s Technical Advisory Group would meet on Tuesday (October 26) to discuss Emergency Use Listing (EUL) for Covaxin, the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Indian vaccine maker Bharat Biotech.

WHO will take a call on granting the emergency use tag for the Indian vaccine based on the outcome of the Technical Advisory Group’s deliberations.

Bharat Biotech began the regulatory process to seek ‘the emergency use’ tag from the WHO in June 2021.

 

Though an EUL is not required for countries to source the vaccines from the company, ratification of the vaccine by the WHO is vital when people travel abroad.

International travel currently requires people to get a vaccine that’s on the WHO’s approved list.

 

“It is a vaccine developed using the time-tested method, i.e., using an inactivated virus. The method has been proven safe several times over. It should have been allowed by now,” a source in the vaccine industry said, wishing to remain anonymous.

Data crunching

Bharat Biotech has submitted piles of efficacy studies that it has conducted on over 26,000 volunteers.

Early this month, the WHO admitted that the company had been submitting data to the organisation “on a rolling basis and submitted additional data that we sought on September 27”.

 

It said its experts were going through the info. “If it addresses all questions raised, our assessment will be finalised next week,” it said.

While confirming the technical group’s meeting on October 26, WHO’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said the organisation was working with Bharat Biotech to complete the dossier. “The goal is to a have a broad portfolio of vaccines approved for emergency use and to expand access to populations everywhere,” she had said.

Published on October 25, 2021

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