It is the third COVID-19 vaccine after those of Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca to receive backing from the WHO.
The listing covers use in all countries and for the vaccine platform COVAX’s roll-out.
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The decision comes on the back of European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorization announced on Thursday.
“Every new, safe and effective tool against COVID-19 is another step closer to controlling the pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
“But the hope offered by these tools will not materialize unless they are made available to all people in all countries.”
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge; Editing by Michael Shields and Hugh Lawson)