The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday gave emergency use authorization for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine developed and manufactured by Sinopharm, as state-owned pharmaceutical firm in China.
The means that Sinopharm can also provide vaccines to COVAX, a United Nations initiative to help distribute Covid-19 vaccines to less developed and poor countries. Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine is the first from China to be given emergency approval by the WHO.
“This afternoon, WHO gave emergency use listing to sign off on Beijing’s Covid-19 vaccine, making it the sixth vaccine to receive WHO validation for safety, efficacy and quality,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhahom Ghebreysus told reporters.
The Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine joins those made Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India, in receiving emergency authorization from WHO.
“The addition of (the Sinopharm) vaccine has the potential to rapidly accelerate Covid-19 vaccine access for countries seeking to protect health workers and populations at risk,” said Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director general for access to health products.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance that co-operates COVAX, welcomed WHO’s decision to give Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine emergency approval.“This means the world has yet another safe and effective tool in the fight against this pandemic,” the alliance said. SOVEREIGNPH