The WHO lists the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca / Oxford for emergency use

© Reuters. COVID-19 vaccinations in Dublin

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) listed AstraZeneca (NASDAQ 🙂 and Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergencies on Monday, expanding access to the relatively inexpensive shot in developing countries.

A WHO statement said it approved the vaccine made by AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India.

“We now have all the conditions for the rapid distribution of vaccines. But we still have to increase production,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General.

The listing by the UN Department of Health comes days after a WHO panel has made preliminary recommendations on the vaccine. All adults must receive two doses about 8 to 12 weeks apart, which can be used in countries with the South African variant of the coronavirus as well.

The AstraZeneca / Oxford shot was hailed for being cheaper and easier to sell than some competitors, including Pfizer / BioNTech, which was used by the WHO in late December for an emergency.

According to a Reuters tally, almost 109 million people worldwide are infected with the novel coronavirus and more than 2.5 million have died.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were detected in China in December 2019.

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