WHO lists AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine for emergency use

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 16, 2021 Published on February 16, 2021

Two versions of the vaccine listed include the one produced by Serum Institute of India

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday listed two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use under its project Covax.

The vaccines are produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India, as per an official release.

WHO mentioned that its Emergency Use Listing (EUL) assesses the quality, safety, and efficacyof of Covid-19 vaccines and is a prerequisite for COVAX facility vaccine supply. For the two AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines, WHO took around four weeks to assess the vaccine.

The vaccine was reviewed on February 8 by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE). The SAGE recommended the vaccine for all age groups 18 and above.

“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,” said Dr. Mariângela Simão, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products.

He added: “But we must 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.”

Last year in December, WHO had listed the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for emergency use.

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Published on February 16, 2021
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