Covaxin approval: WHO panel’s four-day meeting begins today : The Tribune India

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 3

India’s indigenous Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, is in line to receive WHO’s emergency use listing authorisation in October, according to the world body’s document detailing the assessment status of pending vaccine applications. The document mentions the status of Covaxin’s assessment by the WHO as “ongoing” and the decision date as “October 2021”.

The decision on Covaxin’s WHO EUL could be expected sooner than later with the global health body’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE), which decides on such applications, meeting for four days starting Monday.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan today said, “There is a lot of interest in vaccine policy and authorisation process. All vaccine dossiers submitted to the WHO go through both SAGE — which is meeting on October 4 to 7 for policy guidance and technical advisory group, which is also meeting this month for EUL or pre qualification.”

The SAGE develops evidence-based policy recommendations for the best use of vaccines against Covid-19.

It continuously reviews the available evidence on the progress of candidate vaccines, guides vaccine introduction for optimal impact, prepares policy advice on the accelerated use of vaccines (pre-licensure and post-licensure) and recommendations for early allocation of vaccines when vaccine supply is still limited.

So far, the WHO has included six vaccines in its EUL. These are Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, SII-AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

Bharat Biotech, the makers of Covaxin, meanwhile said as responsible manufacturers with past approvals to other vaccines, the firm is working with the WHO to obtain EUL at the earliest. Biotech said it did not consider it appropriate to comment on the pending regulatory approval and its timelines.

Plea in SC seeks probe into oxygen shortage

New Delhi: A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a high-level inquiry by a commission into the alleged non-supply and non-availability of medical oxygen for Covid-19 patients during the second wave of the pandemic from March to May this year. The petition is scheduled to be taken up for hearing on Monday by a Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna. PTI

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