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Covaxin Suspension: Chief Scientist of WHO confirms safety, effectiveness


Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, said today that the freeze on Covaxin supplies by Bharat Biotech is not a factor in the safety or effectiveness of the vaccine, but some issues in manufacturing processes that are being addressed.

"First thing I would like to reassure is, that no doubts have been raised on the safety and efficacy of Covaxin. Those have been shown and confirmed through clinical trials," Ms Swaminathan said to the media.

World Health Organisation had earlier stopped supplying Covaxin to United Nations agencies because of deficiencies found during an inspection. The move was meant to allow the manufacturer to upgrade facilities and correct the deficiencies.

Ms Swaminathan confirmed it, adding that a physical examination of Bharat Biotech's manufacturing facilities, which had not been done earlier, revealed "some points" related to processes compliance.

She said that many of these were designed to automate processes when they were converted from manual processes.

It is a matter of time before these issues are addressed. "Once requirements are met, the suspension will be revoked," and after that the supply can be restored, she said

she also added that It might have been "a little bit delayed" due to the need to "manufacture the vaccines very quickly in order to meet the demand" in the beginning.

"Do not worry if you have taken Covaxin. It is a good vaccine, it does what it is supposed to do," she said.

According to sources inside Bharat Biotech, following the WHO announcement, the suspension would have no effect since Bharat Biotech did not supply vaccines to any UN agencies.

Only nine countries have received vaccines from the firm under the Centre's Vaccine Maitri program, according to a report by PTI.

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