With Covaxin Approval, More Indian Tourists Could Enter Israel

More travelers from India should be able to enter Israel shortly after the World Health Organization approved the country’s Covaxin coronavirus vaccine.

The vaccine received authorization for emergency use for people over 18 years of age from the WHO on Wednesday. It has not yet been approved for pregnant women.

“I saw the regulations issued by Israel and it appears that Israel will approve travelers who have been vaccinated with vaccines approved by the WHO,” Singla said. “We are in contact with the Israeli authorities and we ask them to consider this.”

He said that since the vaccine was only approved this week, he assumed it would take a few more days.

A municipal worker cleans the street in front of a panel with Indian and Israeli flags for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit, Ahmedabad, India, January 2018 (Credit: REUTERS / AMIT DAVE)

Covaxin from Bharat Biotech is an inactivated virus vaccine, similar to vaccines produced in the past to defeat polio or hepatitis A.

India is also producing a new DNA vaccine called ZyCoV-D, although this vaccine has not yet been approved by the WHO.

“India is the world’s pharmacy,” Singla said, adding that the country is the world’s largest producer of vaccines. “In times like these, it is important for us to have indigenous capacity to design and manufacture vaccines and this is what we have been doing.”

Covaxin was produced through a public-private partnership.

In addition to Covaxin and ZyCoV-D, India is manufacturing the British AstraZeneca COVID vaccine and Russia’s Sputnik V, the latter which is also not approved by the WHO.

Singla added that through a consortium with the United States, Japan, and Australia, as part of QUAD, India will produce 1 billion doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine for supply to Southeast Asia from late this year or early 2022. Doses are supposed to be completed within a year.

So far, around 77% of eligible Indians have been vaccinated, meaning that around 1.08 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered. Singla said that now that the WHO has approved Covaxin, a process that took several months, he assumes the country will speed up production and other countries will speed up their own regulatory approvals of the injection so that more people can get vaccinated.

“The WHO has stated that this vaccine is very suitable for low- and middle-income countries because it does not require storage at very low temperatures, something necessary for Pfizer and Moderna,” Singla said, noting that India plans to resume vaccine exports this month. and ship large quantities of Covaxin to Africa.

So far, the country has exported around 66 million doses to lower-income countries.

ZyCoV-D can also be stored at room temperature, he said. But it is also different from other vaccines in that it is administered intradermally, which means that it is injected without a needle through a stream of high-pressure fluid that contains the DNA.

“This is where the real potential is,” said the ambassador.


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