'GoI following up WHO processes for Covaxin approval'

Govt following up on WHO processes for Covaxin EUL approval: Harsh Vardhan Shringla

The WHO’s Technical Advisory Group recently sought 'additional clarifications' from Bharat Biotech about Covaxin

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla. Credit: PTI Photo

The Government is carefully following up on the process to secure the World Health Organization’s recognition for the Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, developed by the Bharat Biotech of India, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla said on Thursday.

The WHO’s Technical Advisory Group recently sought “additional clarifications” from Bharat Biotech about Covaxin for a final “risk-benefit assessment” to put the vaccine on its Emergency Use List (EUL) of the Covid-19 jabs.

“It is a technical and regulatory group. The emergency authorisation by the WHO is based on technical considerations and we are carefully following up the discussions at the WHO. We are hopeful that Covaxin will get approval soon," Shringla told journalists, while briefing media-persons about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Rome and Glasgow for the G-20 summit and the United Nations climate change summit, COP-26.

Also Read | We trust Indian industry, Bharat Biotech has been submitting data regularly: WHO official on Covaxin EUL

The Prime Minister is likely to call upon the G-20 leaders during the summit in Rome to develop a mechanism for mutual recognition of vaccination certificates issued by the governments to its citizens inoculated with the Covid-19 jabs.

He is likely to drive home the point that mutual recognition of vaccination certificates would ease travel and support G-20’s endeavour of boosting recovery from the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. “The business travellers, tourists, which contribute to the recovery of economies will be greatly benefited from this simplified international travel regime that we are proposing and we have taken it up with the G-20, we have taken it up bilaterally, we have taken it up in plurilateral forums," Foreign Secretary said.

“India has proposed to its partner countries, primarily countries that Indian citizens normally travel to, that we should have a mutual (arrangement) that you recognise our vaccine certification and we will mutually recognise your country’s vaccine certification,” Shringla told journalists on Thursday.

He said that once the arrangement of mutual recognition of vaccination certificates would be in place, India would not have to approach other nations every time it adds new vaccines to its stock of nationally approved vaccines. “You recognise the certification that we issue, you recognise its integrity and we will give you mutual treatment. I am happy to say that a number of countries have already agreed to that,” said the Foreign Secretary.

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