New Delhi: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Sunday praised India’s decision to approve COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use, stating that it will help intensify and strengthen the fight against the pandemic.
India has approved two vaccines – one manufactured by the Serum Institute and developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca, and the other indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech.
“WHO welcomes the first emergency use authorisation given to COVID-19 vaccine in the WHO South-East Asia Region. This decision taken today by India will help intensify and strengthen the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the region,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia Region.
“The use of vaccine in prioritised populations, along with continued implementation of other public health measures and community participation, will be important in reducing the impact of COVID-19,” she added.
While the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved in the UK, Covaxin is in its phase 3 trials and AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria has said it will be used as a backup in emergencies.