In a much-anticipated move, the World Health Organization on Wednesday approved the emergency use listing of India’s indigenous COVID-19 vaccine -- Covaxin after being thoroughly analysed by the (Technical Advisory Group) of the global health organization.
Expressing his happiness on the same, ICMR DG, Dr Balram Bhargava said, with the nod from the global experts on the emergency use of the vaccine, the Covaxin, can be sent to the whole world. Covaxin, which was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and the National Institute of Virology can now be exported to various countries and can be administered to people across the world, Dr Bhargava added.
While speaking to ANI, ICMR DG Balram Bhargava, said “With this, the whole world opens up for us, for sending this vaccine. Now that we have administered a large number of vaccine doses, we will be able to send this absolutely indigenous vaccine to the rest of the world.”
He also said that India had already administered a large number of Covaxin’s doses to its people and this indigenous vaccine shall be further sent to the rest of the world. The green light to Covaxin was given by WHO after its technical advisory group determined that the vaccine had met the standards for protection against deadly coronavirus and that the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs its risks.
The vaccine was also reviewed by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), and they further recommended the use of Bharat Biotech’s vaccine in two doses, with a dose interval of four weeks, in all age groups 18 and above.
Developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and the National Institute of Virology, Covaxin is a Whole Virion Inactivated Coronavirus vaccine. In the phase 3 trials, which included over 25,000 participants between 19-98 age group, the vaccine showed overall 77.8% efficacy and 93.4% efficacy against severe disease as per final results. Moreover, it has proven to neutralise COVID-19 variants such as B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), B.1.617.2 (Delta) and B.1.617 (Kappa).
Meanwhile, recently, India's Subject Expert Committee (SEC) approved Covaxin for children aged 2-18 years of age. The trials are taking place on more than 500 subjects at various sites including AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Patna and Meditrina Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur with two doses administered in an interval of 28 days.