WHO may approve Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin ‘within 24 hours’
New Delhi : The World Health Organisation is likely to grant emergency use approval to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin “within 24 hours”, according to media reports on Tuesday.A “If all is in place and all goes well and if the committee is satisfied, we would expect a recommendation within the next 24 hours or so,” Margaret Harris, a spokeswoman for WHO, was quoted as saying at a UN press briefing.The Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech had applied to the WHO on April 19 for Covaxin’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL).The WHO had earlier said that it will carry out the risk and benefit assessments before granting the EUL to determine if a manufactured vaccine is quality-assured, safe and effective.The company also submitted additional info at WHO’s request on September 27.Last week, a top official of the WHO said that while the process of “thoroughly evaluating a vaccine for use” can take a long time, it’s necessary to give the right advice.
“The World Health Organisation is very clear that we want all countries to recognise vaccines that have been given an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the WHO advisory process. But it’s also very important that WHO, when it makes a recommendation like that, is making that globally,” WHO Health Emergencies Programme Executive Director Dr Mike Ryan had said.The WHO approval is key for millions of Indians, who have taken Covaxin, to travel abroad. Without a WHO nod, the two-dose Covaxin is unlikely to be accepted as a valid vaccine by countries across the world.The WHO has so far included only six Covid vaccines in its EUL list that includes the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured as Covishield by the Serum Institute of India.