New Delhi: On the much-awaited nod by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, Niti Aayog Member VK Paul on Tuesday (September 14, 2021) said that a positive decision could be coming in before August-end.

“We know of positive developments – data sharing, data evaluation going on through multiple reviews and we know that we’re close to a decision point,” VK Paul was quoted as saying by ANI.

He added, “We believe that positive decision could be coming in before month-end.”

This is to be noted that the Centre in July had stated that all documents required for the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) have been submitted by Bharat Biotech as of July 9, following which the global health body had commenced the review process.

The WHO has so far approved coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, US pharma majors Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, China’s Sinopharm and Oxford-AstraZeneca for emergency use.

Covaxin is one of the six vaccines that have received emergency use authorisation from India’s drug regulator and is being used in the nationwide inoculation programme, along with Covishield and Sputnik V.

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Earlier last month, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had also met WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan and held discussions over the global health body’s approval for the homegrown COVID-19 vaccine.

Developed by Bharat Biotech in partnership with the National Institute of Virology (NIV) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Covaxin was approved for emergency use in India on January 3. 

Bharat Biotech in its Phase 3 trial results of Covaxin had claimed that it demonstrates overall vaccine efficacy of 77.8%. The Hyderabad-based company had said that the Covaxin has been proven ‘safe’ in India’s largest efficacy trial and shared the final Phase-3 Pre-Print data published on medRxiv.

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