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“Takes Longer Sometimes”, Top WHO Official Says As Covaxin Decision Awaited – dot newz

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A decision is awaited by WHO on the Emergency Use Listing of Covaxin, being manufactured in India

United Nations:

As a decision is awaited on the Emergency Use Listing of Covaxin being manufactured in India, a top WHO official has said the process of thoroughly evaluating a vaccine for use and recommending it sometimes takes longer time but it has to be ensured that the right advice is given to the world “even if it takes another week or two”.

The World Health Organisation “is very clear that we want all countries to recognise vaccines that have been given an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the WHO advisory process. But it’s also very important that WHO, when it makes a recommendation like that, is making that globally,” WHO Health Emergencies Programme Executive Director Dr Mike Ryan said.

Dr Ryan was responding to a question during a recent virtual Q&A on whether there will be a definitive answer on Covaxin Emergency Use Listing by October 26.

WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan had said in a tweet earlier that the technical advisory group at WHO will meet on October 26 to consider the Emergency Use Listing for Covaxin being manufactured by India’s Bharat Biotech.

Earlier this week, the global health organisation had said in a tweet that it is expecting one additional piece of information from Bharat Biotech regarding Covaxin.

“We are aware that many people are waiting for WHO’s recommendation for Covaxin to be included in the #COVID19 Emergency Use Listing, but we cannot cut corners – before recommending a product for emergency use, we must evaluate it thoroughly to make sure it is safe and effective,” WHO had said.

“Bharat Biotech – the manufacturer of Covaxin – has been submitting data to WHO on a rolling basis and WHO experts have reviewed these data. WHO is expecting one additional piece of information from the company today,” it had said.

Dr Ryan said “we have to be absolutely sure” and it’s really important that “we gather all of the necessary information not only on the vaccine itself but on the manufacturing processes and all of that, because we’re recommending to the world that this vaccine is safe, effective and it’s been produced using the highest quality standards.”

Further explaining how the WHO technical advisory group works, he said the vaccine manufacturers first of all have to request and respond and say that they want their vaccines to be put for Emergency Use Listing and then provide documentation on the whole process – the efficacy studies and the manufacturing process.

“Sometimes that requires visits to look at and examine the manufacturing practices and all of that has to come together into a dossier that’s presented within this advisory group mechanism, and then it’s from there that WHO can make a recommendation,” Dr Ryan said.

He emphasised that the entire process, even if people cannot see it “day to day” is “very measured” because “we’re having to say to the world ‘we’ve looked at this carefully, we’ve looked at every piece of data, we’ve looked at the whole production cycle and we can say with our hands on our hearts, having looked at all that data, here is a safe, effective, and well-produced product that you as our member state or you as a citizen of the world can take with confidence”.

“That’s very, very important and that sometimes takes longer and it is frustrating. And it is particularly frustrating if you’ve had a certain vaccine that is not recognised by another country and you can’t travel. That becomes an issue,” Dr Ryan said.

He said the work done by the advisory group and its members has been of the highest quality, and “it takes time to do that”.

“It’s a hugely important task. It’s extremely involved and measured, and the outputs of this process have been of very high quality right…through this pandemic. And if it takes another week or two, that’s what we’ll have to take to ensure that the dossier is complete to ensure that the committee has a chance to look at that and then WHO can make the right determination and give the right advice to the world,” Dr Ryan said.

He added that the Emergency Committee of the International Health Regulations has been “very, very clear” and countries have been advised that vaccination certification should not be used as the only measure and means of restricting travel.

“We have other ways of making travel safe, including testing, serologic testing, and we very strongly believe that using vaccination status as the only parameter of travel creates a double inequity because countries who have no access to vaccines then by de facto have no access to travel either. And that’s a double inequity,” Dr Ryan said.

Bharat Biotech had submitted EOI (Expression of Interest) on April 19 for its vaccine. The WHO said it began rolling data of the vaccine on July 6. Rolling data allows the WHO to start its review right away, as information continues to come in, to accelerate the overall review process.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s Covishield are the two widely used vaccines in India.

WHO has said the timeframe for its Emergency Use Listing procedure is dependent on how quickly a company producing the vaccine is able to provide the data required for the global health body to evaluate the vaccine’s quality, safety, efficacy and its suitability for low- and middle-income countries.

“When the information provided addresses all questions raised, WHO and the Technical Advisory Group will complete the assessment and come to a final recommendation whether to grant Emergency Use Listing to the vaccine,” it has said.
 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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India Is No.1 Food Supplier To Arab Nations After 15 Years – dot newz

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The Arab world is among Brazil’s most important trade partners.

Sao Paulo:

India surpassed Brazil in food exports to the League of Arab States for the first time in 15 years as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted trade flows in 2020, according to data provided by the Arab-Brazil Chamber of Commerce to Reuters on Tuesday.

The Arab world is among Brazil’s most important trade partners, but its distance from those markets took its toll as the pandemic rattled global logistics.

Brazil accounted for 8.15% of the total agribusiness products imported by the 22 League members last year, whereas India captured 8.25% of that trade, ending Brazil’s 15-year advantage, the data showed.

Despite remaining competitive “from the farm gate in,” Brazil lost ground to India and other exporters such as Turkey, the United States, France and Argentina amid a disruption of traditional shipping routes.

Brazilian shipments to Saudi Arabia that once took 30 days could now take up to 60 days, according to the Chamber, whereas India’s geographic advantages allow it to ship fruits, vegetables, sugar, grains and meat in as little as week.

Brazil’s agricultural exports to the Arab League rose just 1.4% by value to $8.17 billion last year. Between January and October this year, sales totaled $6.78 billion, up 5.5%, as logistics problems subsided, Chamber data showed.

China’s push to boost its own food inventories during the pandemic also diverted some of Brazil’s trade with the Arabs, leading countries such as Saudi Arabia to step up promotion of domestic food production, while seeking alternative suppliers.

“It’s a turning point. The Saudis are still big buyers, but they are also net re-exporters of food,” the Chamber said in a statement.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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“BJP Development? Coconut Breaks A Road Open!” Akhilesh Yadav Sneers – dot newz

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Lucknow:

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, ally Jayant Choudhary at his side, berated Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the BJP on multiple issues today — including development, which the ruling party placed front and centre of the coming election. “What infrastructure has the BJP created,” he questioned, citing a recent headline from Bijnore that has raised many a chuckle in the state.

“The older tradition was — hit the coconut on the road and the coconut breaks. The new tradition they have started is hit the coconut on ground and the ground must break,” he told NDTV, speaking on the sidelines of a rally in Mathura attended by thousands.

Suchi Mausam Chaudhary, the BJP MLA from Bijnor Sadar, was left furious earlier this month at the traditional inauguration when bits of a 7-km road, renovated at a cost of Rs 1.16 crore, came off when struck by a coconut.

Challengers to the BJP government which came to power in the state with a sweeping mandate, the two leaders made a prediction. “Looking at anger among the people, BJP can even lose 400 seats. They will be wiped out in the western UP,” Akhilesh Yadav said.

Their sharpest barbs were reserved for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

In his address, Mr Yadav had spoken of the BJP “misrule” in terms of jobs, education development and farmers’ issues. Asked about his remark that the “Baba (Yogi Adityanath) just sits in Gorakhpur and rings a bell (while all this is happennig),” and how it would be received by the state’s Hindu voters, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary spoke up.

“Adityanath is not a symbol of Hindu unity, he can be questioned,” Mr Chaudhary said. “This is not an issue about Hindu pride but issues like unemployment. Adityanath said he will give 70 lakh jobs. Today, their own posters say they have given only four lakh jobs,” he added.

Akhilesh Yadav had other questions. “The Chief Minister should answer whether the man sitting in the jeep that mowed down farmers (in Lakhimpur Kheri) was the Union Home Minister’s son or not… Yogi must answer how many cases were against him that he removed himself after becoming the Chief Minister,” he added.



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Women’s Commission Seeks Report On BJP Leader’s Remark About Mumbai Mayor – dot newz

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Kishori Pednekar is the current Mayor of Mumbai. (File)

The Maharashtra State Commission for Women has asked the Mumbai police commissioner to submit a factual report about an alleged objectionable remark passed by BJP leader Ashish Shelar about mayor Kishori Pednekar in connection with the recent cylinder blast in Worli.

Taking to Twitter, the Commission’s chairperson Rupali Chakankar said “insulting” comments made about women by responsible public representatives “will not be tolerated”.

The Commission has, therefore, taken a “serious” note of the comment and asked the Mumbai police chief to submit a factual report in this connection, Ms Chakankar tweeted on Monday night.

In her letter to the police commissioner, Ms Chakankar claimed, “Shelar’s comment ”the Mumbai Mayor visited (those injured in the blast) after 72 hours of the incident, where were you (the mayor) sleeping for these many hours?” is being broadcast in the news media”.

“So, a factual report should be submitted in this connection as per section 12(2) and 12(3) of the Maharashtra State Commission for Women Act, 1993,” she said.

Three members of a family died after a gas cylinder exploded in their home in a chawl in Worli area of central Mumbai.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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