The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued an emergency use listing for an Indian-produced Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine.
WHO’s emergency use listing assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products Dr Mariângela Simão said the development would increase the availability of vaccines. Dr Simão said:
This emergency use listing expands the availability of vaccines, the most effective medical tools we have to end the pandemic.
But we must keep up the pressure to meet the needs of all populations, giving priority to the at-risk groups who are still waiting for their first dose, before we can start declaring victory.
Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech, is one of the four COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe for use in Zimbabwe.
The vaccine is formulated from an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 antigen and is administered in two doses four weeks apart.
It has an efficacy rate of 78 per cent against Covid-19 and is suitable for low-and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements.
Health Times reported in September that Zimbabweans who received the first dose of the COVAXIN vaccine in May were struggling to get their second shots.
The government then urged the affected people to restart the process using other approved vaccines – the Chinese Sinopharm, Sinovac and Russian Sputnik V.
More: The Herald