World, Health, Asia - Pacific

WHO grants emergency use approval to India's COVID-19 jab COVAXIN

Vaccine found to have 78% efficacy against infection of any severity, says UN health agency

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 03.11.2021
WHO grants emergency use approval to India's COVID-19 jab COVAXIN A health worker prepares a jab of the Covaxin coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center in New Delhi, India. ( FILE PHOTO - Anadolu Agency )

ISTANBUL

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday granted emergency use approval to COVAXIN, India's indigenous COVID-19 vaccine.

It has been developed by Bharat Biotech and adds to a growing portfolio of vaccines validated by the UN health agency for the prevention of the disease.

“The Technical Advisory Group, convened by WHO and made up of regulatory experts from around the world, has determined that the Covaxin vaccine meets WHO standards for protection against COVID-19, that the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs risks and the vaccine can be used,” the WHO said in a statement.

It recommended the use of the vaccine in two doses, with an interval of four weeks in age groups 18 and above.

But the vaccine has not been advised for pregnant women as available data is “insufficient” to "assess vaccine safety or efficacy in pregnancy.”

The WHO said the vaccine was found to have 78% efficacy against COVID-19 of any severity, and is "extremely suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements."

Other COVID-19 vaccines approved by the specialized UN agency are Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson's Janssen, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.

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