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WHO lists two additional COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use and COVAX roll-out

Vials of coronavirus vaccine displayed in front of AstraZeneca logo. File   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The World Health Organization (WHO) late on Monday night listed two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving the green light for these vaccines to be rolled out globally through COVAX.

The vaccines are produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India.

The global health organisation noted that the Emergency Use Listing (EUL) assessed the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and was a prerequisite for COVAX Facility vaccine supply.

“It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines,” noted WHO.

“Countries with no access to vaccines to date will finally be able to start vaccinating their health workers and populations at risk, contributing to the COVAX Facility’s goal of equitable vaccine distribution,” Mariângela Simão, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products, said in a release.

The WHO added that there was a need to keep up the pressure to meet the needs of priority populations everywhere and facilitate global access. “To do that, we need two things — a scale-up of manufacturing capacity, and developers’ early submission of their vaccines for WHO review,” it said.

The world body also listed the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for emergency use on 31 December 2020.

Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India’s head Adar Poonawalla earlier on Monday tweeted about awaiting regulatory approvals from Canada to “ Fly out COVISHIELD to Canada in less than a month; I’m on it!”

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 10:28:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/who-lists-astrazenecaoxford-covid-19-vaccine-for-emergency-use/article33844987.ece

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