Russia submits application for COVID-19 vaccine to WHO
group. Finally, in phase III, the vaccine is given to more people and tested for its efficacy and safety. [Available at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/basics/test-approve.html Accessed on 27 October]
Successful prequalification will enable Sputnik V to be included in the list of medicines used by international procurement agencies and countries to guide bulk purchasing of medicines. According to Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive officer, RDIF, said the Sputnik V was created on a “safe, effective and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors.” He further voiced gratitude to WHO for its active cooperation and looked forward to the successful completion of the prequalification process at all major stages.
Other vaccines in advanced stages of development include Pfizer’s BNT162b2, Moderna’s mRNA-1273 and Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ-78436735. China is the only other country to have a vaccine approved for limited use within its confines. Phase III trials for the Chinese vaccine are underway in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Russia. [Available at www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html Accessed on 27 October]
Malaysia plans to be a signatory of the COVAX global COVID-19 vaccine access plan which is co-led by WHO, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI). The COVAX platform ensures equitable access to any vaccine it develops to all member countries regardless of income levels. [Available at www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/covax-explained Accessed on 27 October] Malaysia will also sign a memorandum of understanding with China to be the first recipients of its COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected to be available by the end of 2020. [Available at https://www.pmo.gov.my/2020/10/covid-19-vaccine-malaysia-to-ink-mou-with-china-pm/ Accessed on 30 October]
About the prequalification programme
The Prequalification of Medical Products is a UN programme managed by WHO. It is the sole global quality assurance programme for medical products including, in vitro diagnostics (IVDs), medicines, vaccines and immunization devices, and vector control. Medical products must pass standards set by WHO for quality, safety and efficacy before they are included in the programme.