WHO says it's waiting to see efficacy and safety of AstraZeneca vaccine

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FILE PHOTO: A logo of the World Health Organization (WHO), is seen before a news conference in Geneva

GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization's chief scientist said on Monday it was awaiting to see the efficacy and safety of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine.

AstraZeneca said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine could be around 90% effective, giving the world's fight against the global pandemic a new weapon - cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than rivals.

The WHO's chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, said the results were "encouraging and we look forward to seeing the data as we do with other promising results of recent weeks".

"We have to also encourage other developers," she later told a virtual briefing in Geneva. "We need a variety of vaccines that will target different groups better and different storage conditions and affordability is important to keep in mind."

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge in Geneva and Michael Shields in Zurich; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Alex Richardson)