WHO issues emergency clearance for Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

GENEVA | The World Health Organization (WHO) issued an emergency authorization for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, the fifth to receive such approval from the UN health agency.

The RNA messenger vaccine “joins a growing list of vaccines approved by WHO for use in emergencies,” she said in a statement.

WHO has already approved a vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, two AstraZeneca sera made in India and South Korea, and a vaccine from Johnson & Johnson called Janssen. Soon, probably next week, a decision is expected on two Chinese vaccines, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

This procedure helps countries that do not have the means to independently determine drug efficacy and safety, gain faster access to therapy, and will enable the Covax system, created by WHO with partners (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization -Gavi- and Coalition for Innovation in Epidemic Preparedness ) to distribute COVID vaccines, particularly in disadvantaged countries, to be able to consider additional vaccines.

According to the press release, “WHO approval under the Emergency Procedure (EUL) is a precondition for the delivery of vaccines to a Covax facility.”

This approval of the Moderna vaccine came just in time for the Covax platform, which currently lacks the AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), India has blocked exports so the doses can be used to vaccinate the population. …

From 18 years old

The product, developed by Moderna, a pioneer in Covid vaccines, has characteristics very similar to the product developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, with an efficiency rate of 94.1% according to WHO. This American serum is licensed in the EU, North America, UK and some other countries like Israel and Singapore.

On January 21, it was already reviewed by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization, which is responsible for recommending vaccines, whether or not they have been licensed by WHO.

He recommends using the vaccine for all age groups from 18 years old. WHO experts also recommend giving two doses of Moderna vaccine 28 days apart, but believe that this second injection can be “delayed 42 days” – or six weeks – in exceptional circumstances where the virus is highly present. disease in the country and lack of vaccines.

However, they do not recommend cutting the dose in half.

The announcement of its emergency WHO approval comes the day following Moderna’s announcement of its manufacturing capacity.

Because if both vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are based on innovative technology, messenger RNA, the two laboratories have one element: the number of vaccines distributed. Moderna is certainly one of the pillars of Covid vaccination in the United States, its country of origin, but it lags far behind in the European countryside, which is largely dominated by Pfizer / BioNtech.

Moderna said Thursday that it intends to accelerate the pace and expects to “increase its global production capacity to three billion doses in 2022,” roughly double what was previously expected.

The company will invest in its European subcontractors, Switzerland’s Lonza, which makes the active ingredient – the substance that makes the vaccine work – and Spain’s Rovi, which conditions the vaccine.

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