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WHO welcomes India’s COVID-19 vaccine approval

According to Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the use of the vaccine in ‘prioritised population’ as well as the implementation of other public health measures will be important in reducing the impact of the pandemic

The World Health Organisation on Sunday welcomed India’s decision giving emergency use authorisation to COVID-19 vaccines, saying it will help ‘intensify’ and ‘strengthen’ its fight against the ongoing pandemic.

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India’s drugs regulator has approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.

It paves the way for the roll-out of at least two vaccines in the country in the coming days.

“WHO welcomes the first emergency use authorization 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.

According to Khetrapal, the use of the vaccine in ‘prioritised population’ as well as the implementation of other public health measures will be important in reducing the impact of the pandemic.

“The use of the vaccine in prioritised populations, along with the continued implementation of other public health measures and community participation will be important in reducing the impact of COVID-19,” she added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the approval a decisive turning point in the country”s fight against coronavirus.

PTI

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