An emergency use listing (EUL) has been issued by World Health Organisation (WHO) for NVX-CoV2373 to give lower-income countries more access to vaccination.
This development has increased the number of WHO–validated COVID-19 vaccines against the virus to 9, thereby offering a much-needed boost to ongoing efforts to vaccinate more people in lower-income countries.
In a press statement, the WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products, Dr Mariângela Simão, said that even with new variants emerging, vaccines are still one of the most effective tools to safeguard people against serious illness and death arising from SARS-COV-2.
The vaccine, named CovovaxTM, was manufactured by the Serum Institute of India under licence from Novavax and is part of the COVAX facility portfolio.
The EUL procedure of WHO assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and is a precondition for COVAX vaccine supply. Also, it allows countries to expedite their regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
According to Simão, the aim of the listing is to increase access, particularly in lower-income countries, out of which 41 have still not been able to vaccinate 10 percent of their populations, and 98 countries have not vaccinated 40 percent of their citizens.
CovovaxTM is a subunit of the vaccine manufactured by Novavax and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).