PORT LOUIS, 22 March 2021 – Health officials in Mauritius have started using the Indian-made COVAXIN vaccine, according to news reports Monday from the capital, Port Louis.
The COVAXIN vaccine has not been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
India has approved it’s for inoculations at home, on emergency use basis and health officials in Mauritius are arguing that India’s approval suffices.
“It is a safe vaccine. COVAXIN has demonstrated 81 percent interim efficacy in preventing COVID-19,” news reports said Monday, citing Dr. Zouberr Joomaye, a senior adviser to the prime minister of Mauritius.
The opposition in Mauritius is crying “scandal” over the decision to use the vaccine before formal approval by the WHO but also over the perception that some citizens are getting the safer vaccines while others are not.
“Why AstraZeneca for the prime minister and COVAXIN for others?” asked opposition labor MP Shakeel Mohamed.
Mauritius apparently turned to COVAXIN after running out of its 100,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca doses delivered under the global initiative, COVAX.
COVAXIN is produced by India’s Bharat Biotech company.
As of Monday, Mauritius – 1.26 million inhabitants – had recorded 805 cases of COVID-19 with a death toll of ten and 592 full recoveries.