Zurich: The World Health Organisation on Thursday, local time, listed the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech for emergency use, saying the move opens the door for countries to expedite their own approvals to import and give the shot.

Once a vaccine has been listed for WHO emergency use, the United Nations health agency said, it “engages its regional regulatory networks and partners to inform national health authorities on the vaccine and its anticipated benefits based on data from clinical studies to date.”

A pharmacist holds a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

A pharmacist holds a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.Credit:Bloomberg

The WHO’s review found that the vaccine met the must-have criteria for safety and efficacy set out by WHO, and that the benefits of using the vaccine to address COVID-19 offset potential risks, the WHO said in a statement.

“This is a very positive step towards ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines. But I want to emphasise the need for an even greater global effort to achieve enough vaccine supply to meet the needs of priority populations everywhere,” said Dr Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant-director general for Access to Medicines and Health Products.



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