Vaccinated however caught: Indians await WHO nod for homegrown shot to journey overseas | Reuters

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Sugathan P.R., who acquired two doses of Bharat Biotech’s domestically developed Covaxin vaccine towards the coronavirus illness (COVID-19), collects greens in his kitchen backyard in Pandalam village, Kerala, India, October 22, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Devasia

PANDALAM, India, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Stuck in a village in southern India for 9 months and unable to return to his job in Saudi Arabia, Sugathan P.R. is hoping the World Health Organization will approve the Indian COVID-19 shot Covaxin, paving the best way for his journey again.

Like Sugathan, hundreds of thousands of Indians have taken Covaxin and lots of have complained of journey struggles because the vaccine has not been recognised for worldwide journey by a number of nations.

“I cannot continue to remain idle here any further,” mentioned 57-year-old Sugathan, who returned to Pandalam village in Kerala in January to be together with his household after lacking his father’s funeral final 12 months when the pandemic disrupted flights.

“I had the option of going to Saudi and taking (additional doses of) Covishield after a four-day institutional quarantine, but I was not sure of its implications on my health,” mentioned Sugathan, referring to AstraZeneca’s (AZN.L) vaccine.

“If the Covaxin approval does not come, I will take the risk of going and taking a Saudi-approved vaccine,” he added, sitting in his spacious two-storey home fronted by paddy fields.

WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said after a gathering on Tuesday that its unbiased consultants had sought “additional clarifications” from Covaxin maker Bharat Biotech for a last evaluation on Nov. 3.

The world company has been deliberating on information provided by Bharat Biotech since early July however has mentioned it can’t “cut corners” in making a choice. read more

Without a WHO nod, the two-dose Covaxin is unlikely to be accepted as a sound vaccine globally and would complicate journey plans for Indians who’ve taken it.

Rajan Pallivadakethil Unnunni, 59, who labored in Kuwait as a welder for 20 years earlier than flying to India late final 12 months, has been unable to return as Kuwait doesn’t recognise Covaxin.

He is now struggling to repay his $20,000 financial institution mortgage promoting hen at a small stall in Kerala and making $4 a day.

“If I cannot go back to Kuwait, I will not be able to repay the loan and complete the education of my children,” mentioned Rajan, seated on a plastic stool in entrance of his store.

“I can buy a ticket to Kuwait only if the Kuwait government app shows a green signal.”

Writing by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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