On December 31, the World Health Organization officially approved the use of the vaccine jointly produced by Phizer and BioNTech. The press service of the organization reported this. WHO approval will make it easier to procure the drug for developing countries.
“The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 is today the first vaccine approved by WHO for use in an emergency since the outbreak began,” it said.
WHO noted that approval of a drug called Comirnaty would allow countries to speed up their own regulatory procedures and improve vaccine import and vaccination campaigns.
“It also allows UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization to procure the vaccine for distribution to countries in need,” the release said.
The organization’s experts analyzed the data on the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine’s safety, efficacy, and quality. They concluded that it meets all WHO criteria, and the benefits of using the drug outweigh the potential risks.
WHO said that an advisory group of experts on immunization (SAGE) would meet on January 5 to formulate policy on specific vaccines and make recommendations for their use in the population.
The European Commission has already approved a vaccine from Pfizer / BioNTech. Mass vaccination with this drug began in the European Union on December 27. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Luxembourg and Switzerland have agreed to coordinate their efforts to develop optimal vaccination campaign schedules.
Comirnaty began to be used in the United States in December. As in most countries, doctors and the elderly are first vaccinated. A week before the New Year, the first adverse reaction to the vaccine became known.