WHO nod for Bharat Biotech's Covaxin Covid-19 vaccine expected this week
The World Health Organisation's approval for India-made Covid-19 vaccine is expected to be delivered this week, Dr NK Arora, Chairman, COVID working group said on Monday.
“Within this week we should be able to get WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) for Covaxin...Hopefully, the vaccine should be given international recognition so that people travelling abroad have less difficulty," he said.
Dr Arora also added that the government hopes around 20-22 crore vaccine doses will be coming from Covaxin and Covishield.
“We hope that Covaxin production will be ramped up in the coming weeks ... Covishield is also increasing their production, we are hoping that around 20-22 crore vaccine doses will be coming from them, it will be a great contribution to the national program."
The indigenous vaccine ‘Covaxin’ is manufactured by Hyderabad-based manufacturer Bharat Biotech.
An emergency approval from the WHO will allow Bharat Biotech to export Covaxin and also ease international travel of people who have received this vaccine.
Covaxin is one of the three vaccines that is being administered in the country. The drug regulator in the country has given Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) to Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.
WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) is a prerequisite for COVAX Facility vaccine supply to other countries. The EUL assesses the quality, safety, and efficacy of covid-19 vaccines, as well as risk management plans and programmatic suitability, such as cold chain requirements.
The assessment is performed by the product evaluation group, composed of regulatory experts from around the world and a Technical Advisory Group (TAG), in charge of performing the risk-benefit assessment for an independent recommendation on whether a vaccine can be listed for emergency use and, if so, under what conditions. So far, the WHO has given EUL to six vaccines.
Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech said it was exploring opportunities with its international partners who have expertise in commercial-scale manufacturing of inactivated viral vaccines.
"We want to ensure that Bharat Biotech can ably meet the demand for COVAXIN such that individuals across the country, and the globe, have access to the vaccine," chairman and managing director Krishna Ella said in a statement.
Last month, Bharat Biotech informed that the Hyderabad- based company has till now supplied 75 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin and more will be supplied this month.
Recently, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced that Bharat Biotech's Ankleshwar facility has been given the go-ahead to produce Covaxin doses.
The company's MD Suchitra Ella said that Covaxin has 65 per cent efficacy against Delta variant of Covid-19."Our vaccine has 65 per cent efficacy against delta variant. Our second site is at Ankleshwar-based manufacturing plant that will also produce COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin. We have diverted sample batches that will be ready by this month. Samples will go to CDL Kasauli for quality testing," said Ella.
Covaxin has demonstrated 77.8 per cent effectiveness against symptomatic coronavirus and 65.2 per cent protection against the Delta variant, Bharat Biotech had informed recently, while announcing the final analysis of the jab.