The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday granted emergency approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The United Nations health agency said in a statement the development paved the way for countries worldwide to quickly approve the vaccine import and distribution for use by their citizens.
The statement read: “The decision makes the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine the first to receive emergency validation from WHO since the (novel coronavirus) outbreak began a year ago.
“The WHO’s Emergency Use Listing opens the door for countries to expedite their own regulatory approval processes to import and administer the vaccine. It also enables UNICEF and the Pan-American Health Organisation to procure the vaccine for distribution to countries in need.”
The WHO Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines and Health Products, Dr. Mariângela Simão, expressed happiness at the development.
READ ALSO: COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic —WHO
He said: “This is a very positive step towards ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines. But I want to emphasize the need for an even greater global effort to achieve enough vaccine supply to meet the needs of priority populations everywhere.
“WHO and its partners are working night and day to evaluate other vaccines that have reached safety and efficacy standards. We encourage even more developers to come forward for review and assessment.
“It’s vitally important that we secure the critical supply needed to serve all countries around the world and stem the pandemic.”
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