COVID-19 VACCINES

WHO approves China's Sinovac Covid shot for emergency use

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Sinovac vaccine was found to be “safe, effective, and quality-assured”.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Sinovac vaccine was found to be “safe, effective, and quality-assured”. AP - Sakchai Lalit

The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved emergency use of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine – the second Chinese jab to get the green light from the global health body.

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An independent panel of WHO experts on Tuesday recommended the two-dose Sinovac vaccine, called CoronaVac, for use in adults over 18. The absence of an age limit suggests it is likely to have a protective effect in older people.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the vaccine was found to be “safe, effective, and quality-assured”.

The UN health agency’s emergency listing allows the shot to be included in the Covax program to provide vaccines to developing countries facing major supply issues.

Up to now, only AstraZeneca and Pfizer doses have been delivered through the scheme.

“The world desperately needs multiple Covid-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequity across the globe,” said Mariângela Simão, the WHO’s assistant-director general for access to health products. 

“We urge manufacturers to participate in the Covax facility, share their knowhow and data and contribute to bringing the pandemic under control.”

Last month Sinopharm became the first Chinese vaccine to receive WHO approval.

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