Govt looking into new Covid subvariant, pricing of ZyCoV-D vaccine being discussed, says Health Minister

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The new subvariant of the Covid-19 virus that has been detected in the United Kingdom is currently under scrutiny by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that a government panel of experts was looking into a Delta subvariant, AY.4.2 and World Health Organisation’s (WHO) technical committee will take a call on granting the emergency use listing (EUL) to Covaxin today.

“A team is investigating the new Covid-19 variant AY.4.2. ICMR and NCDC teams study and analyse the different variants. It would be wrong to say how contagious it is now,” Mandaviya said during a press conference in New Delhi today. He also said that pricing of Cadila’s Covid vaccine ZyCov-D is under discussion.

“WHO has a system in which there is a technical committee which has approved it (Covaxin) while the other committee is meeting today. The approval for Covaxin will be given on the basis of today’s meeting,” Mansukh Mandaviya said. The added that Covaxin will be given to kids with co-morbidities and more data has been sought from the company.

WHO will consider Emergency Use Listing of Covaxin, India’s indigenously-made vaccine against Covid-19. WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan had said in a tweet earlier that the technical advisory group at the organisation will meet on October 26 to consider the much-coveted emergency use listing for Covaxin being manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

Speaking on the Covid vaccine for children, Mandaviya said that pricing on children’s vaccine ZyCoV-D’s is under discussion. He also said that the government has took a decision to set up 1,50,000 health and wellness centres for treatment of diseases like cancer and diabetes. About 79,000 above have been inaugurated in the country, he added.

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