On Thursday, the World Health Organization granted the emergency validation of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and paved the way for countries around the world to quickly approve import and distribution.
The decision “makes the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine the first to receive emergency validation from the WHO since the outbreak (novel coronavirus) began a year ago,” the WHO said in a statement.
The United Kingdom began its vaccination with the US-German vaccine on December 8, followed by the United States, Canada and the EU countries.
“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 emphasize the need for an even greater global effort to achieve sufficient vaccine supply to meet the needs of priority populations everywhere,” she said in a statement.
The WHO said its list of emergencies paves the way for regulators in different countries to approve the import and distribution of the vaccine.
It is said that it also enables UNICEF, which plays a key logistical role in the distribution of antikovid vaccines, and the pan-American health organization to obtain the vaccine for countries that need it.
The WHO convened its own experts and those from around the world to review the data on the “safety, efficacy and quality” of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, which weighed the benefits against the risks.
“The review showed that the vaccine met the must-have safety and efficacy criteria set by the WHO, and that the benefits of using the vaccine to manage COVID-19 offset potential risks,” it said.