Emergency authorisation of COVID-19 vaccines needs great care: WHO - (National Post via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), said the emergency authorisation of COVID-19 vaccines requires a "great deal of seriousness and reflection," as reported by the National Post. 

  • She added that although every country had the right to approve drugs without completing full trials, "it is not something that you do very lightly."

  • Swaminathan said the WHO would prefer to have a full set of data which could be used for pre-qualification. The agency would then consider the efficacy and safety of each drug on a case by case basis. 

  • The organization’s remarks come after the head of the FDA said he would be willing to bypass the normal approval process to authorize a coronavirus vaccine as long as the benefits outweigh the risks. 

  • Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program, stressed that a fast-track approach without full trials required intensive monitoring and safety follow-up work, with it being halted immediately if issues occur. “If you move too quickly to vaccinate … millions of people, you may miss certain adverse effects,” he said.

To read more NewsPoints articles, click here.