Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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WHO emergency COVID-19 vaccine listing aims to lift access in poor countries


ZURICH (#Reuters) – The #World #Health #Organization on #Thursday listed #Pfizer and #BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, in a move seeking to speed access in the developing world.

FILE PHOTO: #Syringes are seen in front of displayed #Biontech and #Pfizer logos in this illustration taken #November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado #Ruvic/File #Photo

The #United #Nations health agency said it will work with regional partners to tell national health authorities about the two-dose shot and its anticipated benefits.

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The WHO established its emergency use listing (EUL) process to help poorer countries without their own regulatory resources quickly approve medicines new diseases like COVID-19, which otherwise could lead to delays.

The WHO’s review found #Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine met the “must-have” criteria for safety and efficacy benefits outweigh its risks.

“This is a very positive step towards ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines,” said #Mariangela #Simao, the WHO’s access to medicines program leader.

“But I want to emphasize the need for an even greater global effort to achieve enough vaccine supply to meet the needs of priority populations everywhere.”

The UN health agency, with the GAVI #Vaccine #Alliance and the #Coalition for #Epidemic #Preparedness #Innovations (CEPI), are spearheading a global effort called COVAX to secure and distribute vaccines to poorer countries, to ensure shots do not go only to wealthy nations.

The WHO-backed COVAX alliance has agreements for nearly 2 billion doses, with first deliveries due in early 2021. The alliance has been in talks with #Pfizer and #BioNTech to secure vaccine.

#Even so, the #Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine’s challenging storage and delivery requirements, including keeping it at minus 70 degrees #Celsius, have made deliveries challenging in western countries, and may pose bigger hurdles for developing nations without adequate infrastructure.

The vaccine has gotten regulatory backing from the #United #Kingdom, the #European #Medicines #Agency, U.S. #Food and #Drug #Administration, #Health #Canada, #Bahrain, #Israel, #Kuwait, #Mexico, #Oman, #Qatar, #Saudi #Arabia and #Singapore.

#Pfizer and #BioNTech’s messenger RNA vaccine was found to be 95% effective after two doses 21 days apart.

#Reporting by #John #Miller; #Editing by #Dan #Grebler



[ source link ]
https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-vaccine-who-int/who-emergency-covid-19-vaccine-listing-aims-to-lift-access-in-poor-countries-idUSKBN2951TU

#emergency #COVID19 #vaccine #listing #aims #lift #access #poor #countries

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