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Fact Check: Modi’s push for COVAXIN approval during G20 summit helped it get approved by WHO?

Written by Facto News Desk

The Indian pharma company, Bharat Biotech developed COVAXIN and got ICMR approval for emergency use in India during covid second wave. Further, they also filed an application to WHO for Emergency Use Listing(EUL) approval, which, after a thorough review and multiple follow-up meetings between WHO officials and Bharat Biotech officials, the vaccine developed by India pharmaceutical company was listed in WHO list of EUL on 3rd November.

Immediately after WHO’s approval for EUL, Indian media, journalists started giving credit to PM Modi for the approval. A tweet by Marya Shakil stated that according to govt sources, Modi pushed for COVAXIN approval to Dr. Tedros during his recent G20 summit. Tedros is Director-General of WHO.


Twitter was flooded with claims that approval came after push from PM Modi during G20 summit. Many news media reported claiming the same.

Facto Check:

With a keyword search, we found a news article published on 1st NOV by India today, “PM Modi pushes for WHO nod for Covaxin, says India to produce 5 bln Covid vaccine doses by 2022”. According to the article, PM Modi said, “the WHO approval for the emergency use authorization for Covaxin, India’s indigenous vaccine, is pending. He suggested that a nod to the jab would help India assist other countries to vaccinate their population sooner than later.” He also added ‘India is ready to produce over 5 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2022 to help fight the world against the pandemic’. This means PM Modi did talk about getting COVAXIN approved by WHO will help the world fight this pandemic.

Does Modi’s push help COVAXIN to get WHO approval?

Maybe Not! COVAXIN approval was in process since July 2021 and the final date of decision was scheduled for 3rd NOV. WHO was about to come to a decision after multiple follow-ups. On 28th OCT, WHO asked Bharat Biotech to submit a few additional documents. In the article published by The Economic Times on 28th OCT, Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant-director, said that WHO hoped to reach a decision on possible emergency use listing for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine at a Nov. 3 meeting after asking the Indian company this week for more clinical data.

The statement of WHO assistant director Mariangela was published on 28th OCT. So WHO has asked for a few more documents before it comes to a conclusion on 3rd NOV, Director also mentioned they are hoping to reach a decision on possible emergency use listing for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine on Nov. 3.

The announcement by WHO made on 3rd NOV for COVAXIN has clearly mentioned how the vaccine was approved. COVAXIN®  was assessed under the WHO EUL procedure based on the review of data on quality, safety, efficacy, a risk management plan, and programmatic suitability. The Technical Advisory Group (TAG), convened by WHO and made up of regulatory experts from around the world, has determined that the vaccine meets WHO standards for protection against COVID-19, that the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs risks and the vaccine can be used globally.

What WHO say on approval after Modi’s push?

We also found a tweet by Gabby Stern, Director of communication for WHO calling the claim of Modi Push for approval is false. She Quoted Marya’s tweet and said “Hi, @WHO ‘s process for assessing #COVID19 vaccines for emergency use listing is rigorous, scientific, and standardized. It involves outside experts on a technical advisory group who review data from manufacturers and others to ensure efficacy and safety. Thanks!”

Conclusion: So, WHO was about to give its decision on 3rd NOV as per its next follow-up meeting with Bharat Biotech, and that was scheduled on 28th OCT. Modi’s push has no impact on the WHO approval process. Director of Communication, WHO has also rebuked the claim.



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Facto News Desk

FACTO™ is a registered trademark of FACTO Digital Media (OPC) Private Limited, Trademark registered with the trademark registry of India under the Trademark act 1999. FactO News of FACTO Digital Media (OPC) Private Limited is an independent fact-checking platform committed to fighting misinformation/disinformation, false and fake news that we come across social media and mainstream media. We provide our readers with verified facts and educate them on issues that focus on but not limited to political, communal, and social aspects.

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