Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said on Friday that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is expected to grant the emergency use authorisation (EUA) to Covaxin soon.
However, the WHO approval for the EUA to Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, is likely to be delayed as per international public health agency.
“There is a procedure of submitting the documents for approval. WHO’s emergency use authorization to Covaxin is expected soon,” said Dr Bharati.
The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) will likely meet at the WHO on 5 October to discuss granting the EUA to Covaxin.
The SAGE is charged with advising WHO on overall global policies and strategies, ranging from vaccines and technology, research and development, to delivery of immunization and its linkages with other health interventions.
Earlier, the WHO had sought clarification on the data submitted by the Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer. The 5 October meeting has been called after Bharat Biotech provided all the details.
Meanwhile, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech International Ltd, Krishna Ella, said Covaxin production would touch 55 million doses in October as against 35 million in September.
Other than its own facilities, Bharat Biotech has tied up with Indian Immunologiclas and Hester Biosciences, to manufacture Covaxin. “We are supplying 35 million this month. Next month we will be definitely supplying 55 million doses. Production at Bangalore is catching up very fast,” he said.
On exports of Covaxin to other countries, Ella said if the Centre permits, the firm is ready to export the jab, though the firm is not in a hurry to look for overseas markets.
According to him, the government’s focus is to fulfill domestic requirements. India will resume export of surplus Covid-19 vaccines in the fourth quarter of 2021 under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme and to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool, but vaccinating its own citizens remains the topmost priority of the government, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has said.