Balafia nursing home worker Sogues Sole, 51, receives an injection with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, as the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak continues, in Lleida, Spain, December 27, 2020. REUTERS/Albert Gea(REUTERS)
Balafia nursing home worker Sogues Sole, 51, receives an injection with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, as the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak continues, in Lleida, Spain, December 27, 2020. REUTERS/Albert Gea(REUTERS)

WHO grants ‘emergency validation’ to Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Britain launched its inoculation drive with the US-German vaccine on December 8, with the United States, Canada and EU countries following suit.
Geneva | By Agence France-Presse | Posted by Prashasti Singh
UPDATED ON JAN 01, 2021 06:13 AM IST

The World Health Organization on Thursday granted emergency validation to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, paving the way for countries worldwide to quickly approve its import and distribution.

Britain launched its inoculation drive with the US-German vaccine on December 8, with the United States, Canada and EU countries following suit.

Also Read: Covid-19: No data to back UK’s new vaccination plan, says Pfizer

WHO said the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was the first to receive its “emergency validation” since the novel coronavirus first broke out in China a year ago.

“This is a very positive step towards ensuring global access to Covid-19 vaccines,” said Mariangela Simao, a top WHO official tasked with ensuring access to medicines.

“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,” she said in a statement.

WHO said its emergency use listing opens the way for regulators in different countries to approve the import and distribution of the vaccine.

Also Read: California nurse tests positive a week after receiving Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine

It said it also enables UNICEF, which plays a key logistical role in distributing anti-Covid vaccines, and the Pan-American Health Organization to procure the vaccine for countries that need it.

WHO convened its own experts and those from around the world to review the data on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine’s “safety, efficacy and quality,” weighing the benefits against the risks.

“The 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,” it said.

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