Covid-19 vaccine update: Precisa Medicamentos seeks emergency use authorisation for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin in Brazil

Covaxin has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the ICMR and the National Institute of Virology.

Covid-19 vaccine update: Brazilian company Precisa Medicamentos has applied for emergency authorization to use the Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin. The company has made a request with Brazil’s health regulator, Anvisa, in this regard. The company also said that it has partnered with Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein hospital to carry out the Phase Three study of Covaxin in the country.

Covaxin has already demonstrated an interim vaccine efficacy of around 81 per cent in Phase 3 clinical trials in India. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) gave approval for the restricted use of the vaccine in an emergency situation on January 3.

Earlier, the Hyderabad-headquartered vaccine-maker inked an agreement with Precisa Medicamentos to supply its vaccine to Brazil. Bharat Biotech said that the Brazilian company had visited the facility before signing the deal. Brazilian Ambassador to India Andr Aranha Corra do Lago had represented the Government of Brazil in the meeting and expressed keen interest in procuring Bharat Biotech’s indigenously developed vaccine.

It was discussed between both parties that supplies of the vaccines would be prioritized for the public market by means of a direct procurement by Brazil. The firm said that it is committed to supplying Covaxin promptly as the Government of Brazil showed ‘strong interest’ in the vaccine.

The development is significant as Brazil is among few countries where the mutant strain of the coronavirus has been found. A traveller who returned to India last month was found infected with this Covid variant. Scientists fear that mutation can render coronavirus vaccines ineffective.

Covaxin has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology. The vaccine, along with Serum Institute of India-Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield, is already being administered in India as part of a mass inoculation drive against COVID-19.

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