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WHO approves AstraZeneca-Oxford's COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use

Speaking at the daily press briefing, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said, "Today, WHO gave emergency use listing to two versions of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, giving the green light for these vaccines to be rolled out globally through COVAX."

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Published on: February 16, 2021 6:57 IST
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WHO approves AstraZeneca-Oxford's COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday (local time) gave emergency use approval (EUA) to two versions of AstraZeneca-Oxford-developed COVID-19 vaccines, allowing these shots to be rolled out globally through COVAX. The vaccines are being produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India. WHO's EUL assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Speaking at the daily press briefing, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said, "Today, WHO gave emergency use listing to two versions of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, giving the green light for these vaccines to be rolled out globally through COVAX."

He informed that the listing was completed in just under four weeks from the time WHO received the full dossiers from the manufacturers.

Highlighting that the number of reported cases of COVID-19 globally has now declined for the fifth consecutive week, he said that "the fire is not out".

"The number of reported cases of COVID-19 globally has now declined for the fifth consecutive week. Last week saw the lowest number of reported weekly cases since October. What matters now is how we respond to this trend. The fire is not out, but we have reduced its size. If we stop fighting it on any front, it will come roaring back," he warned.

In addition to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, these are now the second and third vaccines to receive emergency use listing, he added.

This comes days after a team of researchers at the University of Oxford announced plans to start testing AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine on children as young as six in Britain.

According to CNN, a team at the University of Oxford, which developed the vaccine, said it will test the vaccine on children and teens aged 6-17 there and at sites in London, Southampton and Bristol. Few trials of coronavirus vaccine involve children as yet. In the US, Pfizer/BioNTech's and Moderna's vaccines are being tested in children as young as 12.

Earlier, the WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) had said, according to Sputnik, that the benefits of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the potential risks. 

Also Read | India to supply COVID-19 vaccines to Canada soon, say sources

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