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Covaxin’s WHO Approval Likely By September-October

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Guwahati: A decision on Covaxin’s inclusion in the Emergency Use List will be taken in 2-3 months’ time, the Union government informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

As Bharat Biotech had submitted the data required for WHO’s approval on July 9, 2021, the process is expected to get over by September-October. This is in contrast to WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan’s assertion on July 9 that a decision regarding Covaxin was likely in the “next 4-6 weeks”, i.e August. 

The emergency use approval can be a game changer amid the COVID-19 crisis as it is likely to encourage countries to import the vaccine, facilitate its manufacturing abroad and ease global travel for those vaccinated with it.

Meanwhile, Union MoS Health Bharati Pawar also told the Upper House that Rs.35,000 crore have been budgeted for the implementation of the novel coronavirus vaccination programme for 2021-22. While stressing that no fixed timeline can be indicated for completion of the drive, she added, “it is expected that all beneficiaries aged 18 years and above will be vaccinated by December 2021”. 

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