The World Health Organisation said on Saturday it has suspended supply through United Nations agencies of COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, produced by India’s Bharat Biotech, to allow the manufacturer to upgrade facilities and address deficiencies found in an inspection.
The WHO asked countries that have received the vaccine to take appropriate actions, according to the statement, but did not specify what the appropriate actions would be.
The WHO said the vaccine is effective and no safety concerns exist, but the suspension of production for export will result in the interruption of Covaxin supply.
It said the suspension is in response to the outcomes of WHO post emergency use listing (EUL) inspection conducted from March 14 to 22, and the vaccine maker has indicated its commitment to suspend production of Covaxin for export.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech today in a statement said there is “no impact on efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin”. “For the millions who have received Covaxin, the vaccine certificates issued still stand valid as there is no impact on efficacy and safety of the vaccine,” Bharat Biotech said in the statement, news agency ANI reported.
Bharat Biotech said it is slowing down the production of Covaxin for facility optimisation. “For the coming period the company will focus on pending facility maintenance, process and facility optimization activities,” it said.
The WHO said the company has “committed to comply by addressing the GMP (good manufacturing practice) deficiencies and is developing a corrective and preventive action plan, for submission to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) and WHO”.
With inputs from agencies