Health Care

Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine gets WHO’s nod for emergency use

Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine gets WHO’s nod for emergency use”

Regulatory experts from around the world reviewed the data on the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine's safety, efficacy, and quality.

"WHO and our partners are working night and day to evaluate other vaccines that have reached safety and efficacy standards", Simão added.

Criticism of the slow pace of Europe's vaccine rollout has grown louder in recent days.

It has also been approved in countries such as the UK, US, Malaysia, Switzerland, among others.

Sahin founded BioNTech with his wife, Oezlem Tuereci, who is the company's chief medical officer.

Part of the problem is that the European Union placed a relatively low order of 300 million doses for its 27 member states, and the contract was only signed in November, later than other countries. "But then at some point it became clear that many would be unable to deliver quickly". "By then it was already too late to place follow-on orders".

Sahin said BioNTech aimed to get a new manufacturing facility in the German city of Marburg up and running in February, "far earlier than planned", that should then be able to churn out an additional 250 million doses in the first half of 2021.

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Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Twitter that German authorities would do everything possible to enable a swift start in Marburg.

The federal government, which has backed BioNTech with 375 million euros ($458 million) in funding, has resisted calls from opposition leaders to speed production of its vaccine by issuing compulsory licenses to other drugmakers.

Another vaccine from Moderna is expected to be cleared by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on January 6.

It is the first vaccine to be added to the United Nations organization's Emergency Use Listing (EUL).

The six groups who are receiving the priority vaccines are residents in long-term care, health workers, people living in private seniors' residences, people in isolated communities and people aged 70 and over. It requires two doses, administered three weeks apart.

They said this requirement makes the vaccine more challenging to deploy in settings where ultra-cold chain equipment may not be available or reliably accessible.



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