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World Health Organisation (WHO) suspended Covaxin supply

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World Health Organization (WHO) suspended Covaxin supply

Recently, the supply of Covid-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ through ‘United Nations agencies’ has been suspended after inspection of issues related to manufacturing by the World Health Organization.

When was Covaxin approved?

  • After meeting the standards set by the ‘World Health Organization’ for protection against the coronavirus disease, ‘Covaxin’ received approval from the WHO in November 2021 for inclusion in the ‘Emergency Use Listing (EUL)’ .
  • A vaccine is a pre-condition for a vaccine to be included in the WHO ‘Emergency Use List’ to be part of the vaccine supply under the COVAX initiative.
  • The license granted by WHO paved the way for Bharat Biotech to supply Covaxin to other UN agencies including COVAX.

Current Controversy:

  • No investigation was conducted by the WHO while approving the inclusion of ‘Emergency Use List’ for ‘Covaxin’.
  • In this regard, an ‘investigation’ was launched by the WHO in March 2022, and based on this, the WHO has announced the suspension of the supply of ‘Covaxin’ through the United Nations procurement agencies.
  • In its inspection, WHO has found deficiencies in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

‘Good Manufacturing Practices’ (GMP)

  • Good Manufacturing Practices is a system followed to ensure consistent production and control of products as per quality standards.
  • The system is designed to minimize the risks involved in any drug production – which cannot be eliminated through testing the final product.
  • More than 100 countries have incorporated WHO’s GMP provisions into their ‘national drug laws’, and many more countries have adopted its provisions and approaches in defining their national GMP requirements.
  • The WHO’s ‘Good Manufacturing Practices’ are also being used as the basis for the ‘WHO Certification Scheme’ and ‘pre-qualification’ of vaccines for procurement by UN agencies.

Covaxin

Covaxin is a complete virus-inactivated vaccine against COVID-19, i.e., SARS-CoV-2. It has been developed in partnership by the Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology, Pune.

Source – The Hindu

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