The Department of Drug Administration, the national drug regulatory authority, has granted emergency use approval to a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd (BIBP) in China under Sinopharm.
A meeting of the drug advisory committee of the department on Tuesday decided to issue a conditional permission for emergency use authorisation to the vaccine.
By providing the emergency use authorisation, the department paves the way to bring Sinophrm's vaccine in Nepal. China has decided to provide 500,000 doses of BBIBP-CorV vaccine, developed by Sinopharm, under grant assistance.
Sinopharm had applied for emergency use authorisation for its vaccine on January 13 with the department.
Of the three applications—two from India and one from China's Sinopharm—the department on January 15 had given emergency use authorisation to only Covishield vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which is produced in India by the Serum Institute of India. The department had demanded necessary documents with Sinopharm and Bharat Biotech.
Emergency use authorisation (EUA) is granted for some drugs and vaccines by authorities during a declared emergency when officials can make a judgment that the drug is worth releasing—even without all the evidence that would fully establish its eﬀectiveness and safety. Such a decision is taken when there's enough evidence to suggest that patients have beneﬁted from the drug/vaccine.
(With input from agencies)