Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya discussed the issue of the emergency use listing of Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin with World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a recent telephonic conversation.
The WHO’s technical advisory group is expected to meet on 26 October to consider the emergency use listing of India’s Covaxin, which is being used in the country’s nationwide anti-COVID-19 vaccination programme.
"Had a call with @mansukhmandviya, India's Health Minister, to discuss #India's ongoing #COVID19 vaccination programme; the need for a global pandemic agreement; digital health; & traditional medicine. We welcome India's support to strengthen WHO, incl. via flexible, sustainable financing," Mr Ghebreyesus tweeted on Tuesday.
"We are aware that many people are waiting for WHO's recommendation for Covaxin to be included in the #COVID19 Emergency Use Listing, but we cannot cut corners - before recommending a product for emergency use, we must evaluate it thoroughly to make sure it is safe and effective," the global health organisation had said in a tweet.
The WHO Director-General said that they also discussed the resumption of supplies of the Serum Institute of India-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine.
“@WHO has been working closely with @BharatBiotech to complete the dossier. Our goal is to have a broad portfolio of vaccines approved for emergency use and to expand access to populations everywhere,” said WHO’s Chief Scientist Swaminathan in a tweet.
Mandaviya had also tweeted that he had a "detailed interaction" with the WHO chief "on various issues related to health, including pandemic management and WHO reforms."
India, the world’s largest producer of vaccines overall, suspended exports of COVID-19 vaccines in April to focus on inoculating its own population.
Around 74.45 percent of India's eligible adult population has been administered at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and around 30.63 percent have received both doses.
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