Covid-19 vaccine update: Bharat Biotech files application for emergency use approval for Covaxin in Philippines

Indian company is the fourth one to apply for emergency use in the Philippines.

Indian vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech decides to span out from the country and supply vaccines to other countries. On Thursday, the company filed an application for the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine- Covaxin in the Philippines, according to a report by Reuters. The development was announced by Rolando Enrique Domingo, Chief at the Food and Drug Administration. He said that the Indian company (which made the vaccine candidate in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research) is the fourth one to apply for emergency use in the Philippines.

For now, procurement of vaccines in the Philippines will be done via Gavi vaccine alliance COVAX facility and the vaccines are expected to be delivered within the first quarter of 2021, local reports citing Duterte government pandemic officials said. Under the programme, the country is likely to receive vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford- AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnsons.

It is to note that Bharat Biotech has already received emergency use approval in India and the vaccine administration has already started. Earlier this month, a go-ahead was given by the Drugs Controller General of India without the complete efficacy data. The vaccine, however, is still under the last phase of human clinical trials and will be approved for mass vaccination once the complete efficacy data is prepared.

The company has also applied to conduct trials in the neighbouring state- Bangladesh for the indigenously developed coronavirus vaccine after its emergency use approval in India. According to a report by news agency Reuters, if the trial approval is granted, Covaxin will become the first vaccine to have clinical trials in Bangladesh. The idea is to provide faster access to the COVID-19 vaccine in a country where the population is more than 160 million. Till now, no trial for any Coronavirus vaccine candidate has been conducted in Bangladesh. Mahmood-uz-Jahan, a director at the state-run Bangladesh Medical Research Council has said that they have the proposal and they are currently studying it.

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