Bharat Biotech's Covaxin has now been approved by Hong Kong for international passengers. As many as 96 countries have so far recognised Covaxin and Covishield. Canada, the US, Australia, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Russia, and Switzerland, are among the 96 nations who have given approval of both India-manufactured vaccines.
Earlier on Tuesday, the United Kingdom had said it would be adding Covaxin to the list of approved COVID-19 vaccines, beginning November 22, which would mean that those inoculated with the Bharat Biotech-manufactured jab will not have to self-isolate after arrival in England.
On November 3, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had granted emergency use approval for Covaxin, in a move that the pharma major said is a "significant" step towards ensuring wider global access to the indigenously developed jab.
The announcement by the WHO came after the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), an independent advisory committee of the world body recommended Emergency Use Listing(EUL) status for Covaxin, and days after the TAG sought "additional clarifications" from Bharat Biotech on October 26 to conduct a final "risk-benefit assessment" of the vaccine for global use.
Bharat Biotech, meanwhile, said the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has approved the extension of the shelf life of Covaxin up to 12 months from the date of manufacture.
It was initially given permission for the sale and distribution of Covaxin with a shelf life of six months, which was later extended to nine months, a company spokesperson had said.