“This is an important milestone for Latin America and highlights the importance of technology transfer to increase the availability of quality drugs in the region,” said the agency’s director, Carissa F. Etienne.
The drug, from the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, is being developed by the Argentine company mAbxience and the Mexican company Laboratorios Liomont and, according to PAHO, is already being used in some countries, but the approval will facilitate its acquisition and distribution.
The decision adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the PAHO communiqué stressed, comes as the pandemic enters its third consecutive year and the Americas are seeing a steady increase in cases of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
In the last week, the region reported more than 1.1 million new infections with the disease, a six percent increase over the previous week.
Seven days ago, WHO approved the ninth vaccine, called CovovaxTM, produced by the Serum Institute of the United States, under license from U.S. manufacturer Novavax.