WHO's advisory group to meet on 26 Oct to decide on EUL for Covaxin says chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan

The technical advisory group of the World Health Organisation (WHO) will meet on 26 October to consider the Emergency Use Listing (EUL) for Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, said Chief Scientist at the WHO Soumya Swaminathan on Sunday.

“The technical advisory group will meet on Oct 26th to consider EUL for #Covaxin. @WHO has been working closely with @BharatBiotech to complete the dossier. Our goal is to have a broad portfolio of vaccines approved for emergency use & to expand access to populations everywhere," Swaminathan said in a tweet.

Emergency Use Listing (EUL) is a procedure to streamline the process by which new or unlicensed products can be used during public health emergencies, according to WHO guidelines. Swaminathan had earlier said that all countries should recognize EUL vaccines.

The approval for the made-in-India vaccine is much awaited, especially by students, medical tourists, business travellers and people, who have international travel plans. It has been in the pipeline since July.

Bharat Biotech had submitted all the necessary documents required for the EUL on 9 July.

“All documents required for EUL of Covaxin have been submitted to WHO as of 9 July. The review process has now commenced with the expectation that we will receive EUL from WHO at the earliest,” Dr Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech, had said in a statement.

This statement, in July, was released days after Suchitra Ella, the company’s co-founder and joint managing director, said that the approval from the world health body is not expected to be a “long-drawn process”.

“We are working closely with the World Health Organisation for the inclusion of Covaxin in its Emergency Use Listing. Approval from WHO is not expected to be a long-drawn process as the cell line and majority of our facilities have already been audited and approved by WHO for our other vaccines in the past,” Suchitra Ella had tweeted.

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