The World Health Organization listed the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use Friday.
This is the fifth coronavirus vaccine listed for emergency use by WHO. Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, the Serum Institute of India and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine arm have also received emergency use listing.
The WHO grants emergency use listing to vaccines that have passed quality, safety and efficacy assessments. The listing helps some countries expedite their individual regulatory approval process for Covid-19 vaccines. Before receiving WHO's listing, Moderna’s vaccine had already received emergency use authorization in the US, Canada and several other countries.
Earlier in January, vaccine advisers to WHO reviewed the vaccine and recommended it for use in adults in interim recommendations.
WHO noted that the storage requirements of Moderna’s vaccine may eliminate the need for extra equipment. It can be kept unopened at normal refrigerator temperatures for a month, and Moderna said Thursday that data suggests its vaccine can be refrigerated for three months in 2-8°C temperatures.
“Vials can be stored refrigerated at 2–8 °C for up to 30 days prior to withdrawal of the first dose, meaning that ultra-cold chain equipment may not always be necessary to deploy the vaccine,” WHO said in a statement.