WHO lists Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for emergency use | Daily News

WHO lists Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for emergency use

The World Health Organization has listed Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, a critical step that the United Nations health agency said aims to make the vaccine more readily available in developing nations.

In a statement on Thursday, WHO said its validation of the vaccine the first since the start of the pandemic “opens the door for countries to expedite their own regulatory approval processes to import and administer the vaccine”.

It will also allow groups, such as UNICEF and the Pan-American Health Organization, “to procure the vaccine for distribution to countries in need”, the WHO said.

“This is a very positive step towards ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines,” Dr Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products, said in the statement.

“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.”

WHO said the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine met its safety requirements and its benefits outweighed any potential risks.

The vaccine, which must be kept at ultra-low temperatures, is already being administered in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Qatar, Bahrain and Mexico. (Al Jazeera)