Recommendations on Regulatory Processes and Aspects related to the Introduction of Vaccines during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Emergencies
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The objective of this document is to identify the main gaps in readiness for the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines and to propose the regulatory procedures needed to manage and reduce these gaps, which were detected through a situation analysis of the emergency regulatory procedures implemented by national regulatory authorities (NRAs) in the Americas and based on the available information regarding existing regulatory frameworks in the Region. During emergency situations, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that NRAs adopt agile and efficient regulatory pathways to evaluate the quality, safety, and efficacy of new vaccines, which should be based on risk-benefit assessments. It also recommends that, for each authorized vaccine, pharmacovigilance activities should be implemented, based on risk management plans. Countries should have national emergency preparedness and response plans that include streamlined regulatory pathways that allow new vaccines to be introduced following legal and orderly processes. This regulatory preparedness is key to achieving a rapid response that does not obstruct or delay the availability of vaccines.
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