On November 3, the World Health Organisation had issued an emergency use listing for COVAXIN

Bharat Biotech has commenced exports of India made COVID-19 vaccine COVAXIN, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Long pending export orders have been executed during November, to be further expanded during the following months, stated the company’s statement.

“With the number of countries that have granted emergency use approvals for COVAXIN increasing, exports to additional countries will also commence from December,” it informed.

“Bharat Biotech thanks the Government of India for approving exports. COVAXIN will now become an integral part of the global fight against this pandemic,” the statement noted.

Earlier last week, vaccine major Serum Institute of India had said that it has resumed exports of its vaccine Covishield to the international vaccine sharing program COVAX.

This came after November 3 when the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an emergency use listing (EUL) for COVAXIN® (developed by Bharat Biotech), adding to a growing portfolio of vaccines validated by WHO for the prevention of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2.

On November 12, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said that the overseas supply of indigenously made COVID-19 vaccines has resumed.

While some shipments have already taken place, others are in the pipeline, including through the COVAX facility, the MEA had then stated.

According to the MEA website, under the Vaccine Maitri Initiative, India has supplied COVID-19 vaccines to 95 countries across geographies, including the smaller and more vulnerable nations in Africa.

India has supplied 663.698 lakh shots of the vaccine out of which 107.15 lakh vaccine doses have been supplied as grants, 357.92 lakh as commercial supplies and 198.628 lakh under the Covax facility.

India had started external supplies of Made in India COVID-19 vaccines under the Vaccine Maitri initiative on January 20 this year.

This was in the form of grants, commercial sales by Indian manufacturers (Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech) and through GAVI’s COVAX facility.

The country had, however, halted the supply of vaccines to other countries in order to prioritise the requirements of its own people after the second wave of the pandemic in April this year.

India launched what has been described as one of the largest vaccination exercises in the world on January 16 this year.

While the initial stages of the campaign were marked by vaccine availability constraints, manufacturers like the Serum Institute of India (Covishield) and Bharat Biotech (Covaxin) had ramped up production significantly in recent months.