Covid-19 Vaccine Bilateral Arrangements Don’t Involve WHO

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By Prior Beharry

WHEN a country enters a bilateral agreement with a pharmaceutical company for the purchase of the Covid-19 vaccine, approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) is not necessary.

But it is advisable that the country looks at the safety and efficacy of the vaccine it is buying.

This according to Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO)/World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative for Trinidad and Tobago and the Dutch Kingdom Territories Dr Erica Wheeler at the virtual media conference of the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.

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She said it was advisable from the prospective of safety, quality, safety and efficacy that a country knows those perimeters before buying a vaccine.

Dr Wheeler said, “Some countries also look at the regulatory authorities in the UK, Canada, the USA and Europe before making a decision about purchasing a vaccine.

“A bilateral outside of COVAX, the WHO does not have responsibility of instructing the country what to do, but the country can certainly ask for advice from WHO.

“They can also look at other stringent regulatory authorities that are on a list of approved regulatory bodies by WHO and they can make a decisions based on that to buy vaccines.

“If it is in COVAX then automatically the stringent regulatory authorities plus WHO give that emergency-use listing which is not uncommon to have for the first year.”

She said that Bolivia has bought vaccines from Russia.


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