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WHO approves 9th COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued an emergency use listing (EUL) for NVX-CoV2373 to increase access to vaccination in lower income countries.

This has raised the number of WHO–validated COVID-19 vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus to 9, thereby giving a much-needed boost to ongoing efforts to vaccinate more people in lower-income countries.

The WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products, Dr Mariângela Simão in a press statement said that even with new variants emerging, vaccines remain one of the most effective tools to protect people against serious illness and death from SARS-COV-2.

The vaccine, named CovovaxTM, wa produced by the Serum Institute of India under licence from Novavax and is part of the COVAX facility portfolio.

Read also: Nigerian govt enrolls Lagos, FCT, Ogun, 3 others for WHO COVID-19 clinical trials

WHO’s EUL procedure assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and is a prerequisite for COVAX vaccine supply. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

According to Simão, the listing aims to increase access particularly in lower-income countries, 41 of which have still not been able to vaccinate 10 percent of their populations, while 98 countries have not reached 40 percent.

CovovaxTM is a subunit of the vaccine developed by Novavax and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

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