WHO nod for India's Covaxin could take 'few more weeks'

WHO nod for Covaxin could take 'few more weeks' due to technical queries: Reports

WHO has reportedly sent a set of technical queries to Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech

A vial of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. Credit: AFP File Photo

The World Health Organisation's long-awaited approval for India's indigenous coronavirus shot Covaxin could take longer.

The Bharat Biotech-manufactured vaccine's approval has been delayed reportedly over technical data 'by a few weeks'. The global health body has sent a set of technical queries to the Hyderabad-based company, multiple media reports said. The WHO nod is especially crucial for travellers, jobseekers and students who are looking to go abroad.

WHO experts' group was supposed to take a call on emergency use listing for Covaxin on October 6, according to PTI.

Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and AstraZeneca and Oxford University's Covishield are the two widely used vaccines in India.

Read | Shortage of staff, production crunch: Why Covaxin couldn’t lead India’s vaccination efforts

Bharat Biotech recently said it submitted all data pertaining to Covaxin to the WHO for EUL and is awaiting feedback from the global health watchdog. The WHO website shows that it is currently reviewing the data and the date for a decision on the jab is yet "to be confirmed". 

Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine, developed using the Whole-Viron Inactivated Vero Cell-derived platform technology. Inactive vaccines are the toughest to produce in the world, Bharat Biotech chief Krishna Ella said in an interview.

Bharat Biotech did not comment on the delay but said that it did not want to 'speculate or comment' on these reports.

"We are diligently working with the WHO to obtain EUL at the earliest," the vaccine maker said, adding that it would announce the availability of regulatory approvals appropriately.

(With agency inputs)

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