The approval comes as cases rise around the world, pressuring governments to speed up immunization programs.
The World Health Organization has listed Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, the agency said on Friday, the fifth vaccine to receive status intended to speed up vaccine approval by countries.
“The goal is to make drugs, vaccines and diagnostics available as quickly as possible to deal with the emergency,” the WHO said in a statement.
WHO Assistant Director-General Mariangela Simao said on Friday it was important to have more vaccines due to supply issues for other vaccines, especially from India, the main source of the vaccine. vaccines for the COVAX global vaccine exchange program.
India has limited its exports due to an infection crisis in its country that has overwhelmed the country’s health system.
Moderna this week announced a plan to expand its production network to increase its capacity to three billion doses in 2022.
The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) had already recommended the Moderna vaccine in January for all age groups 18 years and older.
The vaccine from Pfizer and its German partner BionTech, an mRNA vaccine like that from Moderna, was the first vaccine to get an emergency use list from the WHO in the dying hours of 2020.
Since then, WHO has added AstraZeneca-SK Bio, Serum Institute of India and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to the list.
The United Nations health agency is still considering the COVID-19 vaccines developed by Chinese manufacturers Sinopharm and Sinovac following a thorough review, with decisions due by the end of next week.