This Monday (15), the World Health Organization (WHO) approved the emergency use of two variants of the vaccine developed by Oxford / AstraZeneca against Covid-19. The measure makes it possible to distribute versions produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio and Instituto Serum – located in South Korea and India, respectively – through the Covax initiative.
WHO approval attests to the quality and safety of vaccines, requirements demanded by Covax to start their distribution – the initiative aims to deliver units of different vaccines to poorer countries and without access to their own solutions. The endorsement should benefit several countries in immediate need, as explained by Mariângela Simão, WHO Deputy Director-General for Access to Medicines and Health Products:
“Countries without access to vaccines so far will finally be able to start vaccinating their health professionals and populations at risk, contributing to Covax’s goal of equitable vaccine distribution,” she comments. However, she explains that there is still an urgency for new solutions and that, therefore, it is necessary to increase production capacity and send new vaccines in advance for analysis by WHO.
The Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine is 63.09% effective and has already been approved in Brazil by Anvisa, being used in the National Immunization Program (PNI). At the moment, the country is waiting for the delivery of more doses purchased by the Covax initiative, scheduled for the end of February with the possibility of delays, according to the entity, considering factors such as its emergency list and availability for its conclusion.