Vinay Desai, a resident of Thane, Maharashtra shook his head with disbelief as he saw the news flash on his screen, ‘NO DECISION BY W.H.O YET’.

The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) of the World Health Organization (W.H.O) is scheduled to meet next week to decide on the emergency use authorization of India’s first indigenously developed vaccine, Covaxin.

Thus, delaying the vaccination dates for hundreds of Indians such as Desai. “This decision is delaying my vaccination dates. I am yet to get vaccinated and I mostly stay out of the country, ” Desai told News Caravan. Currently, for his VISA formalities, Desai has been keen to get vaccinated using Covaxin due to its efficacy rate and overall experience.

Image source: Bharat Biotech
Bharat Biotech vaccine production unit

The representatives of Covaxin’s manufacturer, Bharat Biotech met the advisors from W.H.O through a virtual meeting. During the hour-long meeting, the vaccine maker presented the details about the clinical trials through the first to the third phase. The meeting also held discussions on the safety, efficacy and immunogenicity of the vaccine. The meeting also discussed the global, national and regional plans for the vaccine.

The Hyderabad-based manufacturer had submitted the application for the Emergency Use Listing to W.H.O in early July after the completion of their phase 3 trials. 

Over two months later, many people who have been or are looking to get themselves jabbed with Covaxin hang in the balance. “My immediate family members are worried, if there’s no approval it will affect our visa and travel process,” expressed Desai. The crucial approval will decide the future of the Covaxin maker as well as its takers. While the nod would open the road to export for the vaccine maker, people who have been inoculated with Covaxin will be able to travel abroad.

Image source: Bharat Biotech
Transportation of vaccine at airport

With no authorization for emergency use, many have been left stranded in India with their jobs, studies and businesses in the other part of the world. 

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