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A health care worker administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the American Museum of Natural History vaccination site in New York on April 30. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The World Health Organization late Friday listed Moderna's coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

Why it matters: With the listing, WHO authorizes that the mRNA vaccine can be part of the U.N.-backed COVAX initiative, which looks to ensure that every country in the world has access to inocculations.

The big picture: To date, WHO has also approved Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and two versions of the AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use.

  • WHO recommended in January that the Moderna vaccine be used for people who are 18 years and older, after it was found to be over 94% effective.

What they're saying: CEO Stephane Bancel said Friday that Moderna was "actively participating in discussions with multilateral organizations, such as COVAX, to help protect populations around the world."

What to watch: Comparable authorizations for China's Sinopharm and Sinovac shots are anticipated in the days and weeks ahead, WHO has said, per AP.

Go deeper

Apr 30, 2021 - Health

White House to restrict travel from India

Family members perform the last rites of a person, who died due to coronavirus, at a crematorium in New Delhi. Photo: Mayank Makhija/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The White House will restrict travel from India starting at midnight on Tuesday, May 4, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced on Friday.

Driving the news: The Biden administration cited a steep rise in coronavirus cases in the country and the possible emergence of multiple variants.