The long wait finally ends
Covid 19 guidelines vaccine WHO emergency approval

The long wait finally ends


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Covaxin gets the nod

Till last week, Covaxin was yet to get the nod from the World Health Organization (WHO). This left millions who have been vaccinated with Covaxin in limbo with regards to traveling to the US.

Now, after months of uncertainty, there is a sigh of relief. WHO has approved Covaxin for emergency use. This move has also been acknowledged by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US.

According to WHO's tweet, the technical advisory group which consists of regulatory experts from around the world, gave their unanimous approval for Covaxin. However, the WHO stopped short of approving the vaccine for pregnant women. Bolstered by this, Ocugen, the American partner for Bharat Biologicals, the manufacturer of Covaxin, has asked for approval for the vaccine to be used in children from the ages of 2-18 in the US.

But what was the reason for the delay in the first place? In a bid to ramp up vaccination rates, Covaxin was given approval by the Indian Government before it published Phase 3 efficacy data. The lack of data led to the WHO not recognizing it. Here are some facts about Covaxin:

  • Developed by Bharat Biologicals, it's India's first indigenous vaccine
  • Studies have shown that it has an efficacy rate of about 78% in symptomatic Covid-19 patients and about 65% effective against the Delta variant
  • Recipients are administered two doses and the gap between each dose is four weeks

What this means is people who have been vaccinated with Covaxin can now enter the US Given that the travel ban to the U.S. will be lifted on November 8th, this piece of good news comes just in time.

If you're traveling to the US, you need to carry your proof of vaccination with you to be allowed into the country.

Is Diwali a national holiday in the US?

Congresswoman Carolyn B Mahoney has introduced a bill titled 'the Diwali Day Act' in the US Congress. If passed, Diwali will be a nationally recognized federal holiday in the US as well. Given the sizeable population of Indians in the US, the passing of the bill will bring cheer to millions of Indians living in the US.

It's interesting to note that Congresswoman Mahoney was one of the key figures behind the Diwali stamp launched by the US. postal service in 2016.