COVID-19 Vaccine’s promise “phenomenal” and “potentially game-changing”; WHO

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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COVID-19 Vaccine
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Hours after Britain’s approval for Pfizer-BioNTech developed COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s European Director has praised the promise offered by the vaccines as “phenomenal” and “potentially game-changing”.

Dr. Kluge remarked that vaccine supplies would be very limited at first and that countries must decide who gets priority, further adding that there is a “growing consensus” among nations to vaccinate older people, medical workers and people with other complications as decided by Britain and endorsed by WHO.

Britain had recently approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, becoming one of the first nations in the world to begin the most crucial mass immunization program in history.

The European WHO Director observed that the coronavirus still has the potential to do “enormous damage”, but “the future looks brighter” as other vaccine candidates, including from Moderna and Britain’s Oxford-AstraZeneca, have also delivered positive trial results.

Speaking to the media, Dr. Kluge stated that “the more candidates we have, the more opportunities for success. Vaccines, combined with other public health measures, bring the end of an acute phase of the pandemic and the rebuilding of economies within reach.”

Addressing the queries on the EU’s own approval process, the WHO official stated that both WHO and European Medicines Agency, the EU’s own regulator have asked Britain to share documents that it used to review and approve the vaccines to expedite their own assessments.

The World Health Organisation has already received data from Pfizer and BioNTech on the vaccine and was reviewing it for “possible listing for emergency use” that could be a benchmark for other nations’ use.