What does World Health Organization emergency use listing for vaccines mean

What does World Health Organization emergency use listing for vaccines mean”

World Health Organization said its emergency use listing opens the way for regulators in different countries to approve the import and distribution of the vaccine.

"This is a very positive step towards ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines", said Mariangela Simao, a top World Health Organization official tasked with ensuring access to medicines. Still, it's not without precedent: Health authorities like the CDC have previously said that if it's impossible to give doses of a vaccine from the same manufacturer, "providers should administer the vaccine that they have available" to complete an injection schedule.

To be sure, EUL is more of a recommendation than a mandate as each country will also individually assess on whether to use the vaccine, if at all and in which population groups it's to be used.

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at a large vaccination centre opened by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in the Israeli coastal city, December 31, 2020.

Regulatory experts convened by WHO from around the world and WHO's own teams reviewed the data on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine's safety, efficacy and quality as part of a risk-versus-benefit analysis.

The WHO's review found Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine met the "must-have" criteria for safety and efficacy benefits outweigh its risks.

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The vaccine had shown to be 95% effective in preventing the disease in a late-stage trial. The alliance has been in talks with Pfizer and BioNTech to secure vaccine.

On Wednesday, Britain's drug regulator approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United Kingdom, making it the first nation to do so.

Trial participants who received the placebo will have two doses of the investigational vaccine reserved for them within the study, the companies said on the website.

Pakistan will also purchase 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from China's Sinopharm, a minister said on Thursday, the first official confirmation of a vaccine purchase by the South Asian country as it battles a second wave of infections.

Both Pfizer's and AstraZeneca's vaccines introduce into the body a protein called spike that, while not infectious itself, can teach immune cells to recognize and fight off the actual coronavirus.

Even so, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine's storage and delivery requirements, including keeping it at a temperature of minus 70 deg C, have made deliveries challenging in Western countries, and may pose bigger hurdles for developing nations without adequate infrastructure. After closer review of the data related to allergic reactions, the US FDA recommended that the mRNA vaccines, based on the genetic material of the novel coronavirus, be withheld only from individuals with a history of severe allergic reactions to any component of the Covid-19 vaccine.

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