The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it had received data from Pfizer and BioNTech on the COVID-19 vaccine and was reviewing it for “possible listing for emergency use”, a benchmark for countries to authorise national use.
Referring to Britain’s regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), it said in a statement to Reuters, “WHO is also in discussions with MHRA on the possibility of accessing some of the information from their assessment, which could expedite WHO’s emergency listing”.
Britain approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, jumping ahead of the United States and Europe to become the West’s first country to formally endorse a shot it said should reach the most vulnerable people early next week.
Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency expert, welcomed the news, adding, “We shouldn’t stop, we need more than three or four vaccines.”
“We need to increase production, we need to pull the price down. We need a one-dose vaccine,” he told a social media event.
(Edits by EP News Bureau)