The World Health Organization on Thursday listed the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, making it the first to receive such status since the pandemic began.
The WHO Emergency Use Listing opens the door for countries to fast-track their own regulatory approval to import and administer the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
The objective of the procedure, the organization said, is to make medical products like vaccines available as rapidly as possible to address public health emergencies while adhering to stringent safety and quality checks.
The review of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine found that it met WHO criteria for safety and efficacy, and that the benefits of using the vaccine to address COVID-19 offset potential risks.
The United Kingdom was the first Western country to authorize Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine.
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