Coronavirus: Pfizer/BioNTech first vaccine to get WHO validation for emergency use

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The World Health Organization (WHO) granted emergency validation to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Thursday, making it the first vaccine to get the WHO's stamp of approval paving the way for it to become more widely available worldwide.

"The World Health Organization (WHO) today listed the Comirnaty COVID-19 mRNA vaccine for emergency use, making the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine the first to receive emergency validation from WHO since the outbreak began a year ago," WHO said in a statement.

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"The WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) 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 Organization to procure the vaccine for distribution to countries in need," the organization added.

The WHO said the review of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine found that it met the must-have criteria for safety and efficacy and the benefits of using it offset potential risks.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, whic has 95 percent efficacy, has been authorized for use in more than 45 countries including Britain, the United States and the EU. Hundreds of thousands of people have already received the shots.

More than 150 potential vaccines are being developed and tested globally to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, with 48 in human trials, according to the WHO.

- With Agencies

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