WHO grants approval for India’s Covaxin jab

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The World Health Organization has issued an emergency use listing for Covaxin, a vaccine against Covid-19 produced by India’s Bharat Biotech.

Found to have 78 percent efficacy after two doses spread over four weeks, the vaccine “is extremely suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements,” the UN body said in a statement.

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Covaxin is the first vaccine completely developed and manufactured in India to receive WHO approval.

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Based on inactivated coronavirus antigens, it becomes the eighth vaccine against Covid-19 on the WHO’s list, including others from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.

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WHO emergency approval, which includes an assessment of clinical trial data, can speed up international recognition of vaccines.

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It also allows their use by fellow UN agencies and the global COVAX initiative, set up to immunise people in the world’s least-well-off countries.

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