The MEA, in a communication to VK Paul, the convenor of a key empowered group on Covid-19 vaccination, said many issues about vaccines and international travel by Indians have arisen and must be addressed immediately.
“The issues pertain to m-RNA-based booster dose requirement by countries which, in effect, negates our effort to obtain recognition of Covishield and Covaxin, suspension of supply of Covaxin by WHO, acceptance of Corbevax and Covaxin-based vaccination certificates for children and international travel by Indians vaccinated with (Russia’s) Sputnik V,” foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said in the communication.
Shringla said the WHO, after inspecting Bharat Biotech’s premises on March 14 for Covaxin’s EUL, announced suspension of the vaccine’s supply through UN procurement agencies due to some deficiencies in good manufacturing practices.
Though the WHO maintained that the vaccine was effective and there were no safety concerns, it recommended that countries using the vaccine take appropriate action. “This situation complicates the acceptance of Covaxin-based Indian vaccination certificates by other countries, byEU member states such as Germany and France,” according to Shringla’s correspondence.
A proper strategy needs to be formulated on the issue and regarding the recognition of Covaxin and Covaxin-based certificates by other countries, he said.
“Bharat Biotech must address the matter immediately through DCGI (Drugs Controller General of India) and WHO and avoid any situation that may lead to cancellation of WHO’s EUL for Covaxin in future,” Shringla said, requesting that a meeting of the empowered group-five be convened to address the issues.