February 16, 2021 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has granted an emergency use listing for AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for distribution in Africa soon.
Authorization was granted for the product -- dubbed Covishield -- to AstraZeneca and the Serum Institute of India through a sublicensing agreement for global manufacturing and supply. Per the WHO, the product should be given in two doses, with an interval of from eight to 12 weeks, with distribution focused on countries where the new coronavirus variants, such as B1.351 in South Africa, have become problematic.
AstraZeneca is providing the product at cost. In a statement, the Serum Institute of India said that it plans to start deliveries to African and other low- and middle-income countries immediately.