Has WHO endorsed India’s Covaxin?

The Claim: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has endorsed Covaxin vaccine
The Verdict: claim verdict

CLAIM: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has endorsed Covaxin vaccine

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Covaxin, which is manufactured in India, was added to the Emergency Use List on November 3.

Briefing the media the following day, WHO director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, confirmed the development.

“Yesterday (November 3) we added another new tool, with the Emergency Use Listing of Covaxin, the 8th vaccine to receive WHO validation for safety, efficacy and quality,” said Ghebreyesus.

“Emergency Use Listing contributes to vaccine equity, by enabling countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and roll out vaccines. We encourage all vaccine manufacturers who have not yet received Emergency Use Listing to contact WHO to discuss how to accelerate the process through rolling submissions.”

Background

On November 4, an online publication, Indiatoday.in, published an article under the headline: ‘Made in India’ Covid vaccine gets WHO nod: What this means for Covaxin recipients https://www.indiatoday.in/coronavirus-outbreak/vaccine-updates/story/bharat-biotech-covid-vaccine-covaxin-who-approval-what-does-it-mean-1872986-2021-11-03 claiming that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had granted emergency use authorisation to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

“This development is being welcomed by the roughly 15 crore Indians who are recipients of Covaxin, the country’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine,” read the publication.

“The extended delay over approvals for Covaxin left thousands of Indians, including students, working professionals and families divided. Over a million others were waiting for countries to recognize the jab. Until Wednesday, Covaxin was not a WHO-approved vaccine and recipients with plans to travel abroad were either asked to quarantine on arrival, produce negative RT-PCR test results (at their own expense), or get vaccinated with a jab approved in the destination country.”

What does WHO approval mean for Covaxin recipients?

·         By and large, vaccines listed under the emergency use listing of WHO are considered as approved vaccines by countries across the world.

·         There are exceptions, such as countries that look at their own drug regulators such as the US FDA and EMA in Europe for approval.

·         The recommendation of the WHO’s Technical Advisory Committee will now speed up the process and countries will be more confident in approving Covaxin as an accepted and safe jab for international travel.

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