Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday, 12 August, met World Health Organisation (WHO) Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan in Delhi to discuss the WHO's approval for Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
During the meeting, Swaminathan also discussed the various aspects of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Covaxin is developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology, Pune.
All documents required for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) have been submitted by Bharat Biotech for Covaxin to the WHO as of July 9 and the review process by the global health body has commenced, said the Minister of State for Health Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar last month in the Rajya Sabha.
Earlier, Covaxin got a certificate of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliance from the Hungarian authorities. This approval for the vaccine is considered as a step forward in meeting the global standards.
Swaminathan also met Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Jitendra Singh and discussed issues related to the pandemic.
The minister told her that with the personal intervention and day-to-day monitoring by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has undertaken the fastest and the largest vaccination drive against COVID-19.
Emphasising on the importance of mass vaccination through easy availability and accessibility, Swaminathan said even though the vaccine may not be able to provide absolute protection against different variants of the virus, it can certainly reduce the risk of death and complications.
Appreciating India's comprehensive and cohesive war against COVID-19, Swaminathan said there will be a need to stand on guard in the months to come as well.
The domestically developed Covaxin is effective against the Delta Plus variant of COVID-19, claimed ICMR in its study last week.