Waiting for Covaxin’s approval by WHO, says Vietnam envoy

Bengaluru: Vietnam’s envoy to India Pham Sanh Chau on Wednesday (June 2) said that his country is waiting for World Health Organisation (WHO) to give approval to the Indian COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin even as they are sourcing more vaccines globally.

Speaking from Bengaluru to Zee Media, Pham Sanh Chau said, “Covaxin is not approved yet by WHO for emergency use, that is why we are waiting for this approval and then we will intensify the discussion.”

Bharat Biotech, which manufactures Covaxin, has submitted its application to the WHO for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) on April 19. A pre-submission meeting will happen later this month.

Envoy Chau, who recently got Covaxin at Delhi’s Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, said, “Vietnam badly needs vaccines like other Asian countries. We have placed the order recently to Pfizer. We are in the process of negotiating with Moderna. We have signed an agreement with AstraZeneca. We also have the opportunity to purchase Covaxin (once it is approved).”

As India continues to deal with the second wave of the pandemic, like many other countries, Vietnam has also come forward to help it. The country sent 109 ventilators and 50 oxygen concentrators in the first batch of the assistance package. In the second batch, it sent 100 ventilators, 275 oxygen concentrators, 1300 oxygen cylinders, and 50,000 masks.

When asked about the COVID situation in Vietnam, Chau said, “We are just hit by the fourth wave as it has been identified since 27th April. It has brought the cases from 1600 to more than 6000. It means over the past one month, the number of infections has doubled. This mutant (virus) is spreading very fast.”

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