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WHO may approve Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine in 24 hours, says official

New York: The World Health Organization (WHO) officials are meeting on Tuesday to take a final decision on whether to grant Emergency Use Listing (EUL) to India’s indigenous COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, which has been manufactured by Bharat Biotech. Notably, the world health body’s technical committee has already approved Covaxin, and now another committee is evaluating to grant the final approval.

Meanwhile, Reuters quoted Margaret Harris saying that if all goes well then Covaxin may get the WHO approval within the next 24 hours.

“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,” Reuters quoted Harris as saying at a UN press briefing.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya today said that the WHO has a system and the approval for Covaxin will be given on the basis of the meeting which will be convened the global health body today.

“WHO has a system in which there is a technical committee which has approved it (Covaxin) while the other committee is meeting today. The approval for Covaxin will be given on the basis of today’s meeting,” said Mandaviya.

The WHO has so far listed the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for emergency use on 31 December 2020; two AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines on 15 February 2021, produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India; and COVID-19 vaccine Ad26.COV2.S developed by Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) on 12 March 2021. It has also given its approval to China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

It may be noted that India had approved Covaxin and Covishield in January 2021. The Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin recently got the emergency use approval for children in the age group of 2 to 18 years from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGA).

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