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Updated on: Wednesday, November 03, 2021, 07:37 PM IST

'Whole world opens up for us for sending the vaccine': ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava on WHO's EUL to Covaxin

Dr Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR | ANI Photo

Dr Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR | ANI Photo

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ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava on Wednesday lauded World Health Organisation's decision for granting emergency use listing to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. In a major development, the WHO today said it has granted emergency use listing (EUL) to Covaxin.

Dr Balram Bhargava said that with EHO's nod the whole world opens up for us, for sending this vaccine. "Now that we have administered a large number of vaccine doses, we will be able to send this absolutely indigenous vaccine to the rest of the world," the ICMR DG added.

Meanwhile, Covid Task Force VK Paul said that WHO's approval was a Diwali gift to India. “It is also a relief for those vaccinated with Covaxin as they will now be seen to have received a jab with the highest seal of approval,” he said.

On the other hand, union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya conratulated ICMR and Bharat Biotech after getting approval from WHO.

"WHO today granted for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) of Made-in-India Covaxin. On this occasion, I congratulate scientists of ICMR and Bharat Biotech (the manufacturer of Covaxin)," Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The nod of the global health body comes after the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), an independent advisory committee of WHO recommended EUL status for Covaxin.

Dr Poonam Khetarpal Singh, Regional Director of WHO South East Asia, in a tweet, said, "Congratulations India for Emergency Use Listing of its indigenously produced COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin." The WHO said the TAG convened by it and made up of regulatory experts from around the world determined that Covaxin meets its standards for protection against COVID-19, and that the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs risks and thus can be used.

Covaxin was found to have 78 per cent efficacy against COVID-19 of any severity, 14 or more days after the second dose, and is extremely suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements, it said.

"Covaxin EUL expands the availability of Syringe, the most effective medical tools we have to end #COVID19. It was assessed under the WHO EUL procedure based on the review of data on quality, safety, efficacy, a risk management plan & suitability in low- & middle-income countries," it stated.

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.

Besides demonstrating 77.8 per cent effectiveness against symptomatic COVID-19, Covaxin has shown 65.2 per cent protection against the new Delta variant.

In June, the company said it concluded the final analysis of Covaxin efficacy from Phase 3 trials.

Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and AstraZeneca and Oxford University's Covishield are the two widely used vaccines in India.

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Published on: Wednesday, November 03, 2021, 07:37 PM IST
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