Emergency clearance for COVID-19 vaccines requires “a lot of seriousness and thought,” the World Health Organization said on Monday after the US announced it was considering a quick prosecution of drug candidates.
Although every country had the right to approve drugs without completing full studies, “it’s not something you do very lightly,” WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told a press conference.
The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said he was willing to bypass the normal regulatory process for approving a COVID-19 vaccine as long as officials are convinced the benefits outweigh the risks.
Russia already approved a COVID-19 vaccine this month after less than two months of human testing, leading some Western experts to question its safety and effectiveness.
The WHO’s preferred approach would be a full dataset that could be used for pre-qualification of vaccines, Swaminathan said. WHO will then review the effectiveness and safety of each drug on a case-by-case basis, she added.
WHO has used experimental drugs to fight Ebola in Africa, a move that has proven successful, said Mike Ryan, director of the organization’s emergency program.
However, he emphasized that a fast approach without full attempts requires intensive monitoring and security follow-up and should be discontinued immediately if problems arise.
“If you move too quickly to vaccinate millions of people, you may miss certain side effects,” said Ryan.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)