BRAZIL – 2021/04/02: In this photo illustration, a hand holds a medical syringe with a World Health Organization (WHO) company logo displayed on a screen in the background. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
THE World Health Organization on Friday (17) announced it has granted emergency approval to the India-manufactured coronavirus vaccine Covovax.
The jab, produced by Serum Institute of India under licence from the US-based Novavax, will now be distributed as part of global vaccine-sharing system Covax, “giving a much-needed boost to ongoing efforts to vaccinate more people in lower-income countries”, WHO said in a statement.
“Even with new variants emerging, vaccines remain one of the most effective tools to protect people against serious illness and death from SARS-COV-2,” said Mariangela Simao, the WHO’s access to vaccines chief.
“This listing aims to increase access particularly in lower-income countries, 41 of which have still not been able to vaccinate 10 per cent of their populations, while 98 countries have not reached 40 per cent,” she said.
Covovax requires two doses and is stable at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius refrigerated temperatures.