Despite Data Issues, the Indian Vaccine Manufacturer Seeks Permission for the First International Launch

Bharat Biotech, India's homegrown vaccine manufacturer, has sought permission in the Philippines for the emergency use of its Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, even as questions about its data on efficacy and safety persist. Dr. Rolando Enrique Domingo, Head of the Philippines Food and Drug Administration, confirmed that Bharat Biotech submitted an emergency application for the use of its Covid-19 vaccine in that country on Thursday. The fourth vaccine manufacturer to apply for emergency use in the Philippines is Bharat Biotech. Covaxin was developed in collaboration with the Indian Medical Research Council.

Mahmood-uz-Jahan, director of the state-run Bangladesh Medical Research Council, reported receipt of the proposal and said that the application would be reviewed by its ethics committee. The first trial of any Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh will be if the authorities in Bangladesh approved the Covaxin trial. This comes as the late-stage trial of a possible vaccine in Bangladesh by China's Sinovac Biotech became uncertain after Dhaka declined to meet the demand for co-funding by the Chinese firm. Two vaccines, Covaxin and AstraZeneca/Oxford University's Covishield, were granted emergency approval by India earlier this month for its Covid-19 vaccination programme.