Covaxin assessed on same criteria as other Covid-19 vaccines: WHO refutes Bharat Biotech chief’s claims

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KEY STORY

  •  The World Health Organization (WHO) rejected Bharat Biotech’s chief Krishna Ella claim that Covaxin faced intensive scrutiny by the world health body and said that the COVID-19 vaccine was assessed on exactly the same criteria as other vaccines produced across the world.
  • The WHO told Economic Times that the Emergency Use Listing is “a neutral, technically rigorous and non-political process with independent regulatory experts contributing to evaluations and advising WHO”.
  • The world health body’s reaction came after Ella told ‘Times Now Summit 2021’ that Covaxin went through a lot of scrutinies by the WHO as compared to other approved COVID vaccines.
  • Bharat Biotech had submitted EOI (Expression of Interest) to the WHO on April 19, 2021 for Covaxin’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL). The WHO granted EUL to India’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine on November 3.
  • Covaxin has demonstrated 77.8 per cent effectiveness against symptomatic Covid-19.
  • “The efficacy analysis demonstrates Covaxin to be 77.8 per cent effective against symptomatic Covid-19, through evaluation of 130 confirmed cases, with 24 observed in the vaccine group versus 106 in the placebo group,” The Lancet said.
  • India’s indigenous COVID-19 vaccine by Bharat Biotech was developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).
  • Covaxin is a 2-dose vaccination regimen given 28 days apart. It is a vaccine with no sub-zero storage and ready to use liquid presentation in multi-dose vials. It can be stored and transported between 2-8 degrees Celsius.
  • The WHO has earlier listed the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, two AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines,  AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India, COVID-19 vaccine Ad26.COV2.S developed by Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) and China’s Sinopharm for emergency use.

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