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WHO says it 'cannot cut corners' in approving India's Covaxin COVID-19 shot

World

BENGALURU: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday (Oct 18) asked for further data from India's Bharat Biotech to consider the company's request for an emergency-use listing for its COVID-19 shot, saying the WHO could not "cut corners" in making a decision.

Bharat Biotech, which developed Covaxin with an Indian state research body, started sharing data with the WHO from early July. The vaccine was given emergency-use authorisation in India in January even before the completion of a late-stage trial, which later found the shot to be 78 per cent efficacious.

Without a WHO nod, the two-dose Covaxin is unlikely to be accepted as a valid vaccine around the world and would complicate travel plans for tens of millions of Indians who have taken it. Covaxin accounts for 11 per cent of the 985.5 million total doses administered in India, and has also been exported.

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