The World Health Organization has given AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine an emergency clearance that should enable United Nations Organization partners to ship millions of vaccine doses worldwide as part of a United Nations-backed program to contain the pandemic

“We now have all the prerequisites for the rapid distribution of vaccines, but we still have to increase production,” said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference

“We continue to urge COVID-19 vaccine developers to submit their dossiers to WHO for review as they submit them to regulators in high-income countries”

In a statement from the WHO, the vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca-SKBio of South Korea and the Serum Institute of India was approved

Listed days after a WHO panel made preliminary recommendations about the vaccine Adults should receive two doses approximately eight to 12 weeks apart

It can also be used in countries with the South African variant of the coronavirus

The WHO review found that the AstraZeneca vaccine met “must-have” criteria for safety and that its efficacy benefits outweigh the risks

It’s also cheaper and easier to sell than some of its competitors, including that of Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech

The AstraZeneca vaccine, sometimes referred to as the “Oxford Vaccine”, is one of the batches that will be available in Australia

The Australian government has secured 538 million doses, making it a central part of the country’s coronavirus vaccination regimen

The AstraZeneca vaccine is only the second WHO-approved vaccine after the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech in December

The announcement should spark the delivery of hundreds of millions of doses to countries that have signed up for the United Nations-backed COVAX effort aimed at delivering vaccines to the world’s most vulnerable people

“Countries that previously did not have access to vaccines can finally start vaccinating their health workers and vulnerable populations,” said Dr Mariangela Simão, WHO Deputy Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products

Nearly 109 million people worldwide are reportedly infected with COVID-19 and more than 2, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, 4 million people have died

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were detected in China in December 2019

AstraZeneca’s doses of vaccine make up the lion’s share of vaccines under the COVAX coronavirus vaccine sharing program More than 330 million cans of the shot are due to be imported into poorer countries from the end of February

WHO has put in place an emergency listing process to help poorer countries with no regulatory resources of their own to quickly approve drugs like COVID-19, which could otherwise lead to delays

The COVAX facility, jointly run by Gavi – an international organization dedicated to boosting immunization in developing countries – the WHO, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation and the UN Children’s Fund, has announced that the doses would cover an average of 33 percent of the people in 145 participating countries

We recognize the Aboriginal people and the Torres Strait Islander as the first Australians and traditional administrators of the countries where we live, learn and work

This service may contain material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN, and the BBC World Service that is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10 hours before GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

AstraZeneca vaccine

World News – AU – WHO approves AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-16/who-approves-astrazeneca-covid-vaccine-emergency-use/13158024