WHO Approves China’s Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use
For the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine, the WHO assessment included on-site inspections of the production facility.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday, 1 June signed off on the Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. This is the second Chinese vaccine to receive the approval from WHO, after Sinopharm, which got the green light last month.
The vaccine is produced by Beijing-based pharmaceutical company Sinovac.
“The world desperately needs multiple COVID-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequity across the globe,” WHO Assistant Director General for Access to Health Products, Mariangela Simao, said in a statement.
The move will gives countries, funders, procuring agencies and communities "assurance that it meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing".
WHO's Emergency Use Listing (EUL) is a prerequisite for a vaccine to become a part of the Covax facility’s vaccine supply and international procurement scheme. It also allows countries to expedite their regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
The Sinovac-CoronaVac product is an inactivated vaccine. Its easy storage requirements make it very manageable and particularly suitable for low-resource settings, a statement from WHO said.
WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) has also completed its review of the vaccine.
Based on available evidence, WHO recommends the vaccine for use in adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of two to four weeks.
Vaccine efficacy results showed that the vaccine prevented symptomatic disease in 51 per cent of those vaccinated and prevented severe COVID-19 and hospitalisation in 100 percent of the studied population.
According to AFP, the Sinovac vaccine is already in use in 22 places around the world.
WHO has also granted emergency use listing to the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson vaccines, as well as the AstraZeneca jab being produced in India, South Korea and the EU.
(With inputs from AFP.)
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