The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use.

The organisation gave the green light for the vaccines on Monday, February 15, 2021 ending a wait to have them rolled out globally through COVAX, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The assessment of the two AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines was completed in under four weeks according to WHO’s Monday statement.

The vaccines were assessed for quality, safety and efficacy data, risk management plans and programmatic suitability, such as cold chain requirements.

WHO’s listing allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

The AstraZeneca/Oxford product, a viral vectored vaccine called ChAdOx1-S, has been found to have 63.09% efficacy and is suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements.

Of the 88 million AstraZeneca doses allocated to African countries for the first phase, Nigeria will receive 16 million doses, the largest allocation.

The vaccines are expected to start arriving before the end of February, according to WHO and Nigerian officials.

The vaccines are produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India.

Source: Pulse Nigeria

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