In a tremendous development for India, healthcare body WHO granted Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin its much awaited emergency usage approval. The update comes weeks after the pharma giant was asked by the WHO to give additional information to get listed in the emergency usage vaccines. One of the biggest reasons why the update is significant is because it will give easy of travel to vaccine beneficiaries. Earlier a lot of countries had imposed a ban on travelers entering their respective countries if they were not vaccinated by a WHO approved vaccine. Further, Emergency approval will also help the vaccine to now be supplied through the COVID-19 vaccine equity scheme COVAX.
PM Modi in one of his speeches emphasized how India emerged as a global innovative leader thanks to its two home-grown vaccines. Since the onset of the vaccination drive that began in February, Indian masses have been vaccinated with two vaccines for the COVID-19 – Covaxin and Covishield. While Covishield was made by World’s biggest vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute, Covaxin was manufactured by Bharat Biotech.
However, it wasn’t enough for vaccine manufacturers to just jab the vaccines on Indian population. They had to seek emergency usage approval from the healthcare body World Health Organization. As Indian travelers couldn’t travel to major countries without the approval, vaccine manufacturers shared their data and thus, got the EUA.
The Facts of the Matter
In a significant step that will remove hesitance from travelers to visit other countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO approved Emergency usage authorization to Covaxin. Now, India has three vaccines that has received the approval – Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V.
“Resolve of Modi Ji”: Health Minister Congratulates Bharat Biotech
The official Twitter handle of WHO tweeted on Wednesday, “WHO has granted emergency use listing (EUL) to #COVAXIN® (developed by Bharat Biotech), adding to a growing portfolio of vaccines validated by WHO for the prevention of #COVID19.”
🆕 WHO has granted emergency use listing (EUL) to #COVAXIN® (developed by Bharat Biotech), adding to a growing portfolio of vaccines validated by WHO for the prevention of #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/dp2A1knGtT
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) November 3, 2021
After the confirmation, Mansukh Mandaviya reacted on Twitter and shared, “This is a sign of a capable leadership. This is the story of Modi ji’s resolve. This is the language of the faith of the countrymen. This is Diwali of self-reliant India. Thanking @WHO for granting emergency use listing (EUL) to Made-in-India #Covaxin.
यह समर्थ नेतृत्व की निशानी है,
यह मोदी जी के संकल्प की कहानी है,
यह देशवासियों के विश्वास की ज़ुबानी है,
यह आत्मनिर्भर भारत की दिवाली है।
— Dr Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) November 3, 2021
WHO Had Sought More Data from Bharat Biotech
Earlier, in October the WHO took to Twitter and stated that it won’t be cutting any corners when it comes to approving any vaccine for emergency usage. The healthcare body also claimed that the granting of the EUL will be dependent on how manufacturers can provide the appropriate data in a quicker time frame.
WHO further added that its TAG (technical advisory group ) will be completing “the assessment and come to a final recommendation whether to grant Emergency Use Listing to the vaccine”.
Bharat Biotech Reveals Efficacy Data for Covxain
Meanwhile, the Hyderabad based manufacturer revealed the efficacy data from the third phase of its clinical trials of Covaxin. According to Bharat Biotech, Covaxin showed 77.8 % efficacy against COVID-19 (symptomatic). Meanwhile, the efficay for the Delta variant remained at 65.2%.
Other than Covaxin, the WHO has approved vaccines to Johnson & Johsnon’s Janssen, Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty, Moderna’s Spikevax and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield and China’s Sinopharm vaccine.