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AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Granted Emergency Authorization by WHO

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 16 Feb 2021
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AstraZeneca Plc’s (Cambridgeshire, England) COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford (Oxford, UK) has been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO; Geneva, Switzerland).

The AstraZeneca/Oxford product is a viral vectored vaccine called ChAdOx1-S (recombinant). It is being produced at several manufacturing sites, as well as in Korea and India. ChAdOx1-S has been found to have 63.09% efficacy and is suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements. The WHO has listed two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving the green light for these vaccines to be rolled out globally through COVAX. The vaccines are produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio, Korea and the Serum Institute of India. WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and is a prerequisite for COVAX Facility vaccine supply. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

“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,” said Dr. Mariângela Simão, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products. “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.”

Related Links:
University of Oxford
World Health Organization (WHO)

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