New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: World Health Organisation (WHO) Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan on Wednesday said that the EUL approval of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin from the UN Health body will expedite the process of getting a green signal for its use in children also. Soumya Swaminathan's remarks came on the day when the WHO recommended Emergency Use Listing status to Covaxin and said that it meets WHO standards for protection against COVID-19 and the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs risks.

Responding to the question of when the WHO will approve Covaxin for use in children, Soumya Swaminathan, as quoted by NDTV said, “In this case, it should be much faster. But again, it really depends on the data." However, she said that more data was needed to arrive at a conclusion on the vaccine’s impact on children and to know how much it is safe to inoculate children between age group of 5 to 11 with Covaxin.

Responding on the criticism WHO faced for approving other COVID-19 vaccines including China's Sinopharm quickly and delaying Covaxin's approval, Swaminathan clarified that Covaxin, by no means, took the longest to get the WHO's approval. She said that on an average the approval took 50 to 60 days but some took up to 165 days as in the case of China's Sinopharm and Sinovac.

"Covaxin is somewhere in the middle, it took somewhere between 90 and 100 days. The WHO panel met over Covaxin last week and asked for additional clarifications. The committee met again today and were very satisfied," she said, adding that there are other 13 vaccines that are still waiting for the nod.

Earlier in the day, Soumya Swaminathan congratulated India WHO for granted approval for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) for Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin. "One more vaccine gets @WHO emergency use listing. Congratulations India @BharatBiotech@ICMRDELHI @MoHFW_INDIA for successful development of indigenous vaccine #Covaxin as well as for a massive vaccination program," the WHO Chief Scientist tweeted.

The global health body said that the Covaxin vaccine was also reviewed by WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), and recommended the use of this vaccine in two doses, with a dosing interval of four weeks, in all age groups 18 and above.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan