The World Health Organisation has approved an Emergency Use Listing for COVAXIN, developed by Bharat Biotech, adding to a growing portfolio of vaccines validated for the prevention of COVID-19.
WHO’s EUL procedure assesses the quality, safety, and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and is a prerequisite for COVAX vaccine supply.
It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
The WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products, Dr. Mariângela Simão said “this emergency use listing expands the availability of vaccines, the most effective medical tools we have.
“But we must keep up the pressure to meet the needs of all populations, giving priority to the at-risk groups who are still waiting for their first dose, before we can start declaring victory.”
The Technical Advisory Group convened by WHO and made up of regulatory experts from around the world, has determined that the vaccine meets WHO standards for protection against COVID-19, that the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs risks and the vaccine can be used globally.
The vaccine is formulated from an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 antigen and is presented in single-dose vials and multidose vials of 5, 10, and 20 doses.
“COVAXIN was also reviewed on October 5 by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation, which formulates vaccine-specific policies and recommendations for vaccines’ use in populations (i.e. recommended age groups, intervals between doses, specific groups such as pregnant and lactating women).
“The SAGE recommended the use of the vaccine in two doses, with a dose interval of four weeks, in all age groups 18 and above. COVAXIN® was found to have 78 percent efficacy against COVID-19 of any severity, 14 or more days after the second dose, and is extremely suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements.
“Available data on vaccination of pregnant women with the vaccine are insufficient to assess vaccine safety or efficacy in pregnancy; studies in pregnant women are planned, including a pregnancy sub-study and a pregnancy registry,” WHO noted in a press statement.