WHO approves AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine

eAwaz Medicine

Geneva – The World Health Organization (WHO) lists two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use. One by India’s Serum Institute, the other version being produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea). They can now be rolled out globally through COVAX. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer Covid-19 vaccines.
Mariangela Simao, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products, 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. But 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.”
WHO has assessed their quality, safety and efficacy data, risk management plans and programmatic suitability, such as cold chain requirements under a four-week process. AstraZeneca/Oxford product is a viral vectored vaccine called ChAdOx1-S (recombinant). It is being produced at several manufacturing sites. 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.