WHO gives emergency use approval to Serum Institute of India's AstraZeneca vaccine

WION Web Team
Geneva, Switzerland Published: Feb 16, 2021, 07:52 AM(IST)

AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine Photograph:( AFP )

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According to the WHO, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is a viral vectored vaccine called ChAdOx1-S has been found to have 63.09 per cent efficacy

The World Health Organization(WHO) granted two versions of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio(Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India(SII).

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WHO's approval for the AstraZeneca vaccine is only the second after it issued approval for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in December last year. Emergency Use Listing (EUL) assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of coronavirus vaccines and is a prerequisite for COVAX facility vaccine supply.

 WHO's 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.”

According to the WHO, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is a viral vectored vaccine called ChAdOx1-S has been found to have 63.09 per cent efficacy and is suitable for low-and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements. 

"We must keep up the pressure to meet the needs of priority populations everywhere and facilitate global access. To do that, we need two things – a scale-up of manufacturing capacity, and developers’ early submission of their vaccines for WHO review,” Simão asserted.

The vaccine was reviewed on February 8 by the UN health body's expert group which makes recommendations for vaccines’ use. The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) recommended the vaccine for all age groups 18 and above.

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