WHO grants approval for AstraZeneca vaccine

2021-02-16 at 06:43

The World Health Organization (WHO) has given the emergency use approval to AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccines, allowing distribution to some of the world’s poorest countries to begin.

A WHO statement said it had approved the vaccine as produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India.

WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products Dr Mariângela Simão said, “Countries with no access to vaccines to date will finally be able to start vaccinating their health workers and populations at risk, contributing to the COVAX Facility’s goal of equitable vaccine distribution.”

The WHO said it assessed the quality, safety and efficacy data, risk management plans and programmatic suitability, such as cold chain requirements of the two AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines.

The process took under four weeks.

The vaccine was reviewed on 8 February by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), which makes recommendations for vaccines’ use in populations.

The WHO has recommended the vaccine for all age groups 18 and above.