WHO refutes Bharat Biotech’s chief Krishna Ella claim that Covaxin faced an intensive scrutiny


Covaxin was assessed on exactly the same criteria as other vaccines, the World Health Organisation told ET, refuting the claims of Bharat Biotech’s chief Krishna Ella that Covaxin faced an intensive scrutiny by the WHO.

The WHO said that the Emergency Use Listing (EUL) is “a neutral, technically rigorous and non-political process, with independent regulatory experts contributing to evaluations and advising WHO”.

According to the UN health agency, Covaxin was assessed according to the exact same criteria as other vaccines, which includes review of data on quality, safety, efficacy, a risk management plan and programmatic suitability.

Speaking at the Times Now Summit in the national capital on Wednesday, Ella said that Covaxin went through a lot of scrutiny by the WHO as compared to the other Covid-19 vaccines which were granted Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the UN health agency.

“We are the only vaccine in the WHO that has gone through so much scrutiny which other vaccines have not gone through. But it’s good that in the end, we won the game,” he said.

Covaxin received the EUL approval this month, after a lot of exchanges between the company and the WHO.

Ella said it was not about the process but the WHO might have got influenced by a lot of what was said by negativists in the country about the vaccine.

“They (WHO) wanted to be doubly sure of what they were doing. So, they wanted to review much more intensely. Every small issue became a major issue for them,” he said.

He said the criticism that it was a “Modi vaccine” also got the process delayed. “I want people to realise that instead of criticising, just ask us, we will tell the truth. But making opinions hurt us very badly. This got the process delayed. WHO prequalification got delayed because they had to investigate a lot of things. But in the end, we were transparent, truthful,” he added.

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