WHO Lists Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use

January 5, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) has granted the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine an Emergency Use Listing — the first such listing by the standard-setting body since the pandemic began.

The endorsement paves the way for global regulatory agencies to accelerate their own reviews, the WHO said. In addition, the listing enables UNICEF and the Pan-American Health Organization to distribute the vaccine worldwide.

Originally named BNT162b2 but now known as Camirnaty, the vaccine requires ultra-cold shipping and storage, which will pose significant challenges for poorer countries.

The WHO’s expert advisory group on immunizations is meeting today to discuss recommendations for administering the vaccine.

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