WHO plans to approve COVID-19 vaccines for poorer countries

New Delhi: The WHO plans to approve several COVID-19 vaccines from Western and Chinese manufacturers for poorer countries.

COVAX , the global scheme co-led by the WHO, wants to deliver at least 2 billion coronavirus doses across the world this year. Of this, at least 1.3 billion will go to poorer countries.

However, it has so far struggled to secure enough shots due to a shortage of funds. The wealthy nations have booked large volumes of vaccines for themselves.

The coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) could be authorised by WHO in January or February.

Adar Poonawalla, SII chief executive, told news agencies last week he expected WHO approval “in the next week or two”.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed with Oxford University, has already been given emergency approval in Britain, while decisions in the European Union and the United States are close.

COVAX has supply contracts with AstraZeneca and SII for about 400 million doses and an option for many more hundreds of millions, although the timing of deliveries is uncertain.

 

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