The technical experts of the World Health Organisation (WHO) are reviewing Bharat Biotech’s dossier for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) of its COVID vaccine Covaxin, reported ANI quoting Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia said on Monday. WHO officials had a meeting with the Hyderabad-based vaccine maker.
Dr Singh said India has been offered 7.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine through WHO’s COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) programme. She said, “WHO has granted EUL to Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, Sinovac and Sinopharm. For COVXIN, an expression of interest for EUL has been made to WHO by Bharat Biotech. WHO has already conducted a pre-submission meeting with the company following which a dossier has been submitted by Bharat Biotech to WHO in early July. The dossier is currently under review by the technical experts for consideration of EUL.”
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Dr Singh also warned about the possibility of the Delta variant of coronavirus becoming the most dominant strain.
“Among all variants of concern, Delta spreads most rapidly. The rapid spread means more cases, leading to more pressure on health systems and more deaths,” she said.
She also urged people to act ‘responsibly and urgently’ to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, asking them to turn up in large numbers of vaccination, to contain the possible third wave.
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“People are longing to go back to their normal lives which is understandable. However, we have to be reminded of the huge risk of letting our guards down. We witnessed that very recently and continue to do so globally even today. If we take the precautions, get vaccinated and leave no room for the virus to infect us, all of us together can contain the spread of the virus,” she added.
The WHO official said that some Eastern Mediterranean, European and Southeast Asian countries have been witnessing rise in COVID cases in the past ten consecutive weeks.
Dr Singh also said that cases are on a decline in India, Nepal, and Maldives. “However, the situation continues to be a concern,’ she said.