The World Health Organization (WHO) gave its first approval for the emergency use of a vaccine against Covid-19 on Thursday (31) evening: the immunizer developed by the British Pfizer and the German BioNTech.
The vaccine, which is safe and 95% effective, has already been applied in the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada, and the U.S.
In practice, the immunizer’s inclusion in the WHO emergency use list allows UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to acquire and distribute the vaccine to less developed countries.
The decision also allows countries that do not have structured regulatory agencies to streamline their regulatory approval processes to import the vaccine and start applying it to their population.
In general, access to any vaccine will not be wide and unrestricted in Latin America. PAHO hopes to distribute vaccines in the region between March and May 2021 through Covax, a WHO mechanism to ensure equal access in a race where emerging nations have more to lose.
All countries in Latin America and the Caribbean expressed their interest in participating in Covax, although some cannot buy vaccines. But this mechanism should take the coronavirus vaccine to only 10% to 20% of the poorest countries’ populations.