DELHI: Barely hours before the festival of lights, India on Wednesday got a Diwali gift from World Health Organisation (WHO) after it granted approval to Hyderabad-based vaccine maker Bharat Biotech by accepting its Covid vaccine– Covaxin– that is also India’s first indigenous — for emergency use listing (EUL).
“WHO has granted emergency use listing (EUL) to #COVAXIN® (developed by Bharat Biotech), adding to a growing portfolio of vaccines validated by WHO for the prevention of Covid-19,” the UN health body said in a tweet.
The WHO approval is a significant decision as it allows Covaxin by Indian travellers to be accepted as immunization when they enter foreign nation.
The decision comes within short span of PM Narendra Modi batting for it during his meet at G20 and COP26 where he drew attention of global leaders including US President Joe Biden, UK PM Boris Johnson, German chancellor Angel Merkel and Israel PM Naftalli Benett among others.
Speaking to The New Indian after the news broke on WHO green signal for Covaxin, Bharat Biotech MD Dr Krishna Ella couldn’t contain his joy
It’s a momentous occasion for Indian entrepreneurs, start ups and Indian science. As a scientist, India’s innovation has started and will boom. We’re thankful to PM and many others for taking Covaxin and becoming global ambassadors
The decision will help rid students, vacationers and tour planners who had been waiting to visit abroad or prepare foreign jaunts
EUL is also a prerequisite for a vaccine to be supplied through COVAX, the global Covid vaccine equity scheme.
Last week, Dr Ella, in an explosive interview with The New Indian, had slammed critics who either doubted Covaxin’s efficacy or perpetuated myth by “concocting” theories around calf serum being used in the vaccine or it being an inactivated vaccine as the reason for its non-acceptance.
Dr Ella had also said that many scientists and his colleagues at Bharat Biotech had thought of leaving the country during smear campaign against the company.
“I don’t know whether they wanted to hurt the current political system or me. I am just a scientist. We are working to make India better and fight COVID but some people created vaccine hestitancy,” he said.
With WHO approval for Covaxin, Bharat Biotech also will be eyeing the fast sanction for its upcoming nasal vaccine that gets launched next year.
Dr Ella had told The New Indian that new vaccine would be a game changer and may help people get rid of masks.