India dismisses reports that Covaxin may hamper your travel plans

New Delhi (IANS) The Indian government on Saturday dismissed reports claiming that people who are fully vaccinated with Covaxin may not qualify for travelling abroad as several countries are yet to approve the vaccine.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said during a press briefing that such claims on travel ban are baseless.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has not taken any decision on banning people from travelling who have been vaccinated with Covaxin. Covaxin is the one of the most effective vaccines to date,” Javadekar said.

Multiple reports had said that over 130 countries across the globe currently accept Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield vaccine to enter their country while Covaxin is accepted in only nine nations.

The reports claimed that Covaxin is not yet on WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL).

The latest WHO guidance document shows that Bharat Biotech has submitted its Expression of Interest (EoI) but “more information is required”.

Bharat Biotech was yet to react to the reports.

However, a peer-review publication Clinical Infectious Diseases has noted that Covaxin demonstrates protection against the new Covid-19 variants.

The study found that vaccination with Covaxin produced neutralising titres against all key emerging variants tested including B1617 and B117, first identified in India and the UK, respectively.

A modest reduction in neutralisation by a factor of 1.95 was observed against the B1617 variant compared to the vaccine variant.

Top officials in the country said this week that they will begin clinical trials to test the Covaxin vaccine’s efficacy in children between two to 18 years of age in 10-12 days.

“Covaxin has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India for Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials in the age group of two to 18 years. I have been told that trials will begin in the next 10-12 days,” V.K. Paul, NITI Aayog’s Member Health, had said.

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