The World Health Organization is “deeply concerned” that COVID-19 vaccines, which have been proven effective and have been approved by the global health authority for use in emergencies, are not being recognized in all countries, an official said Thursday.
Speaking at a press briefing, Dr Bruce Aylward, Senior Adviser to the WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the organization reiterates its call on “all countries to ensure that vaccines that are proven to be effective and safe and are clearly WHO compliant are recognized. Use the listing criteria. “
Regarding the importance of vaccine recognition for international travel, WHO “remains deeply concerned that vaccines that have been validated and approved by WHO for emergency scheduling are not being recognized in all countries,” he said.
Dr Catherine O’Brien, Director of the WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, added that vaccine acceptance is an important issue because it pushes people to vaccinate more doses than they might otherwise receive if vaccines which they have already received and which are listed by WHO for emergency use are not being recognized.
“And again, this is not something we should do in the face of limited and inadequate supplies at the moment in countries where people are receiving and looking for vaccines that they would not otherwise need for their protection and vaccine status.
“I think these are some of the reasons why this is such an important issue. Once again, we urge all countries to recognize the WHO EUL vaccines that meet the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality of production, ”said O’Brien.
The Covishield vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca, is manufactured in India at the Indian Serum Institute in Pune. India has exported over 66 million doses of vaccine to nearly 100 countries through grants, commercial supplies and COVAX installations. The UK initially refused to recognize Covishield, but following strong criticism from India on September 22, the UK amended its new regulations to include the vaccine.
However, the move did not bring any relief from quarantine rules for Indian travelers vaccinated with two doses of Covishield. Later, British officials said the UK had problems with the vaccine certification process in India, not the Covishield vaccine.
According to the new British rules, which came into force on Monday, fully vaccinated Indians will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine. India also decided to impose retaliatory restrictions on all British citizens entering the country.