Nepal gives emergency nod to India’s Covaxin

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India’s homegrown Covaxin is the third Covid-19 vaccine authorised in Nepal, reports Asian Lite News

Nepal’s drug regulatory body has approved India’s Covaxin jab against Covid-19 for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

Nepal’s EUA approval for Covaxin, produced by Bharat Biotech International, came on Friday, making it the third country to do so.

Prior to this, Nepal had given the EUA approval to Covishield, a vaccine developed by Serum Institute of India, as well as China’s Sinopharm.

Immunisation against Covid-19 started in Nepal after it received one million doses of the Covid vaccines in grant from India in January produced by Serum Institute.

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The Himalayan nation also procured another one million Covishield jabs at a discounted price.

The Health Ministry said that it is waiting to receive an additional one million doses of the Covishield but was not not sure when it will arrive.

Until Nepal gets the third consignment from the Serum Institute, it has paused Covid vaccination, health officials said.

Covaxin was shown to be 81 per cent effective in an interim analysis of late-stage trial data on some 26,000 people in India, according to a media report.

Nepal so far has received 2,348,000 doses of vaccines — 1,000,000 doses under grant assistance from India; 1,000,000 doses of the 2,000,000 doses that the government has bought from the Serum Institute of India; and 348,000 doses under the COVAX facility.

But Nepal has yet to receive the Chinese Covid vaccine though it has promised to deliver 800,000 doses in a grant.

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Two more companies — Russia’s Sputnik V and China’s Sinovac — had filed applications at the department for approval, according to the drug regulatory body of Nepal.

Nepal has already inoculated over 1.6 million population against the disease.