The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced Covovax, a vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India under licence from Novavax for emergency use.
The health organisation via a statement released on Friday said the vaccine is part of the COVAX facility portfolio, and will therefore give a much-needed boost to ongoing efforts to vaccinate more people in lower-income countries.
Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant-director general for access to medicines and health products, said vaccines remain one of the most effective tools to protect people from serious illness and death due to COVID.
“This listing aims to increase access particularly in lower-income countries, 41 of which have still not been able to vaccinate 10% of their populations, while 98 countries have not reached 40%,” he said.
According to the WHO, Covovax was assessed under the WHO emergency use listing (EUL) procedure based on the review of data on quality, safety and efficacy, a risk management plan, programmatic suitability, and manufacturing site inspections carried out by the drugs controller general of India.
“The Technical Advisory Group for Emergency Use Listing (TAG-EUL), convened by WHO and made up of experts from around the world, has determined that the vaccine meets WHO standards for protection against COVID-19, that the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs any risks, and that the vaccine can be used globally,” the statement reads.
“CovovaxTM is a subunit of the vaccine developed by Novavax and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
“It requires two doses and is stable at 2 to 8 °C refrigerated temperatures.”