WHO Approves China’s Sinovac Vaccine Under the COVAX Program

Story Highlights
  • Sinovac passes the assessment headed by WHO
  • Second Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine to pass WHO vetting after Sinopharm
  • Doesn't demand temperature-controlled storage

The World Health Organization has approved a coronavirus vaccine made by China’s Sinovac Biotech for emergency use.  The decision will allow Sinovac to be used in WHO’s vaccine sharing program COVAX, which seeks to provide equitable global access to immunization.

 WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news briefing Tuesday that Sinovac was “found to be safe, effective, and quality-assured following two doses of the inactivated vaccine.” 

WHO determined the two-dose inactivated vaccine to be safe for adults 18 and above. Unlike some other vaccines, Sinovac doesn’t demand temperature control storage and so makes it very suitable for low resource setting reported, WHO. Efficacy studies showed Sinovac prevented symptomatic disease in just over half of those vaccinated and prevented severe Covid-19 and hospitalization in 100% of those studied. 

WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Access to Health Products, in a statement, Tuesday said, “the world desperately needs multiple COVID-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequity across the globe. “We urge manufacturers to participate in the COVAX Facility, share their know-how and data, and contribute to bringing the pandemic under control.” 

This is the second Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine to pass WHO vetting after Sinopharm was approved for emergency use in May and the eighth worldwide including those from Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), and the Serum Institute of India. 

Sinovac claims to have produced dozens of shots supplying them to mainland China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Turkey, Chile, Mexico, and Brazil. On average, it has supplied 600 million doses domestically and internationally with more than 400 million doses administered.

Read More: India reports nearly 1.33 Lakh Daily New Cases; 3,205 Deaths Observed

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