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WHO gives green light for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine under emergency listing

Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) gave the green light for two versions of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to be rolled out globally under an emergency listing, which assesses and assures the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and is also a distribution prerequisite under the UN-led vaccine initiative COVAX. UN News reports.

One of the vaccines was produced by SKBio in Korea, the other by the Serum Institute of India.

Following the Pfizer-BioNTech inoculations, these are the second and third vaccines to receive emergency use listing. WHO said the vaccine can be used for all age groups 18 and over. Previously, some countries did not recommend it for the elderly.

«Countries that do not have access to vaccines today will finally be able to start vaccinating their health care workers and those at risk, which will help achieve the COVAX alliance’s goal of equitable distribution of vaccines,» WHO Assistant Director General for Access to Medicines, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals Mariangela Simao said.

Studies have found out that the overall effectiveness of AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine is estimated at 63 percent. WHO experts recommend keeping an interval from 4 to 12 weeks between the first and second dose. The longer the interval, the higher the effectiveness of the vaccine.

AstraZeneca / Oxford can be stored in conventional refrigerators, making it easy to transport.

Recall, 504,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be allocated to Kyrgyzstan free of charge under COVAX initiative.