Covaxin has been granted Emergency Use Listing (EUL) in 13 countries as on 31st January, according to the WHO, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar informed the Lok Sabha recently.
Responding to a question, she said Covaxin was granted EUL by the national regulator, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), in the age group 12 to 18 years on 24th December, 2021.
The COVID-19 Working Group of NTAGI recommended COVID vaccination in adolescents between 15 years to 18 years, Pawar said in a written reply.
On the recommendation of the COVID-19 Working Group and Standing Technical Subcommittee of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), the Government of India started vaccination of adolescents aged 15 to 18 years from 3rd January.
“Grant of approval to a vaccine by any country is a technical and scientific process for which data is to be submitted to the regulator by the vaccine manufacturer, as per the prescribed rules. According to the WHO, as on 31st January, 2022, Covaxin has been granted EUL in 13 countries,” she said.
On whether the government noted the difficulties being faced by foreign companies in the supply of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech, Pawar said no specific information has been brought to notice by foreign companies that they are facing difficulties in the supply of the vaccine.
During the second surge of the pandemic in the country in April and May last year, the requirements of National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme were prioritised. This may have impacted foreign commercial contracts entered into by domestic vaccine manufacturers, she said.
On whether the government has evaluated the likely financial loss due to this, Pawar said that as informed by the Ministry of External Affairs, there is no financial loss involved since during the second surge, domestic vaccine production was procured and utilised in the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.