WHO to review Moderna's Covid vaccine for emergency-use listing within a few days

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that the Moderna Covid vaccine will be reviewed by its technical advisory group (TAG) ahead of a decision on granting it emergency-use listing in the next few days.

The WHO’s spokesperson, Christian Lindmeier, announced on Monday that TAG will conduct its review into the drug this week before issuing a decision on whether to grant emergency-use listing (EUL) to the Covid vaccine within one to four days.

The move to grant EUL under the WHO’s review scheme comes as the Moderna vaccine seeks or has secured emergency authorization directly from government health departments.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration in the Philippines confirmed the pharmaceutical company had filed an application ahead of the arrival of a shipment of jabs in the country.

Moderna has already secured emergency authorization from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The Emergency Use Listing Procedure is a measure used by the WHO to assess unlicensed drugs and speed up the process for making them available for individuals impacted by a public health emergency.

The WHO began using EUL to grant authorization to Covid jabs on December 31, 2020, having since given the green light to Pfizer-BioNTech's, to two versions of the AstraZeneca-Oxford's and to Janssen's vaccine.

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Alongside the review of the Moderna product, TAG is also examining whether to grant EUL to the Chinese-developed Sinopharm and Sinovac Covid vaccines, when it meets on May 3.

The health body runs the international Covid vaccine scheme, COVAX, which seeks to ensure equitable access to jabs across the world, with the WHO expecting to deliver two billion doses to people in 190 countries before the end of 2021. Jabs granted EUL are eligible to be included in the COVAX scheme.

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