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Updated on: Friday, December 17, 2021, 08:21 PM IST

COVID-19: WHO approves Serum Institute's COVOVAX for emergency use

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The World Health Organisation on Friday approved Serum Institute's COVOVAX emergency use. It is the 9th COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use with aim to increase access to vaccination in lower-income countries.

SII CEO Adar Poonawalla on Twitter made the announcement saying, "This is yet another milestone in our fight against COVID-19, Covovax is now W.H.O. approved for emergency use, showing excellent safety and efficacy. Thank you all for a great collaboration."

The vaccine is produced by SII under licence from Novavax and is part of the COVAX facility portfolio, giving a much-needed boost to ongoing efforts to vaccinate more people in lower-income countries.

WHO’s EUL procedure assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and is a prerequisite for COVAX vaccine supply. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

According to a release issued by WHO, Covovax was assessed under the WHO EUL procedure based on the review of data on quality, safety and efficacy, a risk management plan, programmatic suitability, and manufacturing site inspections carried out by the Drugs Controller General of India. The Technical Advisory Group for Emergency Use Listing (TAG-EUL), convened by WHO and made up of experts from around the world, has determined that the vaccine meets WHO standards for protection against COVID-19, that the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs any risks, and that the vaccine can be used globally.

The Technical Advisory Group for Emergency Use Listing (TAG-EUL), convened by WHO and made up of experts from around the world, has determined that the vaccine meets WHO standards for protection against COVID-19, that the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs any risks, and that the vaccine can be used globally.

Covovax is a subunit of the vaccine developed by Novavax and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). It requires two doses and is stable at 2 to 8 degrees refrigerated temperatures. The vaccine uses a novel platform and is produced by creating an engineered baculovirus containing a gene for a modified SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

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Published on: Friday, December 17, 2021, 08:21 PM IST
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