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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Drug regulator maintains silence on WHO’s Covaxin export suspension

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The World Health Organization (WHO) banned the supply of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin through UN agencies on April 2 after discovering problems with “good manufacturing procedures.” The WHO did not go into detail about the reasons.

For the past 15 days, not only health journalists, but also ordinary people who received Covaxin injections, have been waiting to hear from the country’s drug regulating organization, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

I’ve received multiple inquiries from family members, friends, and acquaintances who want to know more about what went wrong with Covaxin and what kind of flaws were discovered.

I corrected that WHO stated that “the data… indicates the vaccine is efficacious” and that “there are no safety concerns.”

However, he is only one of the (over 28 crore) people who have received Covaxin. The same vaccine has been given to children as well. The questions and worry that such topics elicit are palpable.

Instead of remaining a silent observer, the agency should have stated facts, in addition to ensuring that residents are kept up to date on further investigation into the matter.

The goal is not to blame the regulator for the claimed lapses, but rather to make the regulator aware that the general public wants the agency to be more responsive.

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