The international body, after verifying its effectiveness and safety, thus gives the green light to mass vaccination in developing countries.
In the late afternoon of December 31, the World Health Organization authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus. In this way, it became the first to receive permission from this international organization.
Precisely, coincidences of destiny, came just a year after the WHO received information about several cases of strange pneumonia in Wuhan, which a few months later became a global pandemic that has already left almost two million deaths.
Although its use was already allowed by national entities such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, this announcement represents the arrival of hope for those developing countries that do not have bodies capable of homologating these products.
The authorization comes after "experts from around the world convened by the WHO", such as the organization's own teams, reviewed the safety, efficacy, and quality data of the drug produced by Pfizer and BioNTech. "The review found that the vaccine met the essential criteria for safety and efficacy established by the WHO and that the benefits of using the vaccine to combat COVID-19 outweigh the potential risks," the agency said in the press release.
Step forward for global vaccine access
This announcement will also allow both UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization to purchase it for distribution to countries that need it. "It is a very positive step to guarantee global access to vaccines against COVID-19 ", highlighted Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO deputy director for Access to Medicines and health products ".
However, it is not enough, as it insists on the need to carry out "an even greater global effort" to guarantee the supply of vaccines in priority populations. In addition, it has confirmed that it is working tirelessly to "evaluate other vaccines that have reached safety and efficacy standards."