The World Health Organization listed the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use late Friday, a step that will allow countries to speed up their own approval by regulators.
The Geneva-based authority said the emergency list was also a prerequisite for the vaccine to be part of the COVAX facility, which aims to share vaccines fairly around the world.
Moderna’s becomes the fifth vaccine approved for emergency use by the WHO – after those of Pfizer / BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson and two versions of the vaccine Oxford / AstraZeneca. It has already received the green light from EU and US regulators.
The WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group on Immunization Experts (SAGE) reviewed the vaccine in January and recommended its use in adults aged 1
The Moderna vaccine may not always need to be stored in an ultra-cold chain, as the vials can be stored in a refrigerator at 2-8 degrees Celsius for up to 30 days before the first doses are withdrawn, the WHO said.