The World Health Organization (WHO) approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccines for emergency use on Thursday.
The announcement stated that the vaccine, called Comirnaty, is the first coronavirus vaccine approved by the agency and has been added to its emergency use list (EUL).
Following the approval of the vaccine by the US FDA on December 11 and the European Union on December 21, the WHO obtained emergency use authorization.
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The statement said that by adding vaccines to the World Health Organization̵
EUL also allows UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization to obtain vaccines and distribute them to countries in need.
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In the announcement on Thursday, Dr. Mariângela Simão, Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines and Healthcare Products of the World Health Organization, emphasized the need to obtain vaccines on a global scale.
Simão said: “This is a very positive step to ensure global access to the COVID-19 vaccine.” “But I want to emphasize that greater global efforts are needed to achieve sufficient vaccine supplies to meet the needs of priority populations everywhere.”
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Simão added: “WHO and our partners work day and night to evaluate other vaccines that meet safety and effectiveness standards.” “We encourage even more developers to come forward for review and evaluation. It is vital Yes, we must ensure that we provide services to all countries in the world and contain the critical supply of the pandemic.”
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The WHO did not specify what role the vaccine approval will play in its COVAX strategy, which aims to provide developing countries with access to the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the agency did say that the vaccine is undergoing policy review.
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The announcement stated that the WHO immunization strategy advisory group will formulate “vaccine-specific policies and recommendations” for Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines in the new year.
The agency will also help countries that are not yet ready to use ultra-cold chain equipment, because vaccines must be stored at temperatures of -60°C to -90°C.