'We believe that positive decision could be coming': Niti Aayog's VK Paul on WHO's approval for Covaxin likely this month

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 03:40 PM IST
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While India's homegrown COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin is expected to get emergency nod from the World Health Organisation this week, Dr VK Paul, Member-Health,Niti Aayog on Tuesday said, "we believe that positive decision could be coming in before month end."

WHO's approval for the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, is likely to come this month, official sources said Monday.

"We know of positive developments-data sharing, data evaluation going on through multiple reviews and we know that we're close to decision point," Dr VK Paul was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Commenting on the time required by the global health body for approval, he said, "We must give time to WHO to make their decision based on Science and yet we hope that the decisions will be taken quickly because people who are receiving Covaxin have certain imperatives of travel etc for which WHO's concurrence is important."

Meanwhile, talking about the vaccination for chidren, VK Paul said that the government's attention at this moment should be to vaccinate all adults.

"Throughout the world, opening up of vaccination for children is small, WHO doesn't recommend general vaccination for children even today," he added.

"There's no need to panic, we are in step with the developments," Paul said.

Notably, in July, the Centre had told Rajya Sabha that all documents required for the WHO's Emergency Use Listing (EUL) have been submitted by Bharat Biotech as of July 9, and the global health body had commenced the review process.

Covaxin is one of the six vaccines that have received emergency use authorisation from India's drug regulator and is being used in the nationwide inoculation programme, alongwith Covishield and Sputnik V. The WHO has so far approved Covid vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, US pharma majors Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, China's Sinopharm and Oxford-AstraZeneca for emergency use.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had also earlier met WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan and held discussions over the approval of Bharat Biotech's Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin.

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