NEW DELHI: In a re-run of the UK’s delay in accepting WHO-approved and made-in-India Covishield, Canada is yet to recognise Covaxin even after World Health Organisation (WHO) gave emergency use listing for Bharat Biotech’s Covid jab.
A spokesperson of Canadian high commission in Delhi on Friday night told TOI the accepted Covid-19 vaccines by the country are: Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2); Moderna (Spikevax, mRNA-1273); AstraZeneca/Covishield (ChAdOx1-S, Vaxzevria, AZD1222) and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Ad26.COV2.S). The list does not include Covaxin.
Responding to a TOI query on Covaxin, the Canadian HC spokesperson said: “Covid-19 drug and vaccine submissions are prioritised and reviewed on an expedited timeline, above the usual performance standards, without compromising safety, efficacy and quality standards, due to the public health need….. Timing for the completion of Health Canada’s review depends on many factors, including but not limited to a need for additional data, discussions with the sponsor, and requirements for updates to safety information.”
On this issue of “different standards being adopted by different countries while granting approval to vaccines”, Delhi-based Dr Arvind Kumar, well known for his work during Covid times, said: “Vaccines are medicines developed by scientists for the good of humanity. Their use should be above any political or geographical considerations.
Denying the benefit of these vaccines as a means of restoring a semblance of normalcy in today’s pandemic-infested world, nullifies the great work being done by our scientists. This should be avoided. We in the fraternity look forward to a day when the world’s vaccine pool is used for the good of humanity without any bias.”
This is not the first time that a foreign country has taken time in recognising a WHO-approved vaccine that is made in India. For instance, UK did not accept Covishield before an outcry on this issue in India.
To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller to Canada, a person must have received at least two doses of a government of Canada-accepted Covid-19 vaccine or a mix of two accepted vaccines; or at least one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine. One should have received the second dose at least 14 full days prior to the day of entering Canada.
Canada had on September 27 allowed resumption of directs flights from India, over five months after suspending the same during the deadly second Covid wave here, with stricter testing norms. All nonstops are from Delhi, with testing required to be done from a lab at IGI Airport.
Air India has direct flights from Delhi to Vancouver and Toronto. Air Canada has nonstops to and from Vancouver Toronto and Montreal.




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