WHO issues emergency authorization for Chinese vaccine against COVID Sinovac

The World Health Organization on Wednesday gave emergency approval for the Chinese vaccine against COVID Sinovac, the UN agency said in a statement.

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The WHO Vaccine Expert Committee has recommended this vaccine, which requires two doses given two to four weeks apart for people 18 years of age and older.

It is the second Chinese vaccine to receive the green light from WHO, making it possible to integrate it into Covax’s international COVID serum distribution system, especially in disadvantaged countries.

“The world desperately needs many COVID 19 vaccines to close the huge inequality around the world,” said Dr Mariangela Simao, WHO Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines and Health Products.

On May 7, WHO has already approved Sinopharm, a drug manufactured in Beijing.

Sinovac is 57% effective in preventing symptomatic cases of COVID, but 100% in preventing the most serious cases and hospitalizations among the populations studied, according to WHO. Effectiveness for persons over 60 years of age cannot be assessed.

The serum – an inactivated vaccine – “is easy to store, simplifies administration and is especially suitable for countries with limited resources,” the agency said.

The organization has also already given the green light to Moderna vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, two AstraZeneca sera produced in India and South Korea (WHO counts this for two approvals even if the product is identical, editor’s note) and that Johnson & Johnson called Janssen.

This procedure helps countries that do not have the means to independently determine the effectiveness and safety of a drug to gain faster access to therapy. And it will allow the Covax system, created by WHO in conjunction with partners (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization – Gavi – and the Coalition for Innovation in Epidemic Preparedness), to distribute, in particular, COVID vaccines in disadvantaged countries so that they can consider additional vaccines.

According to AFP, Sinovac is already in use in 22 countries and territories.

Besides China, it is used in Tunisia, Chile, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand and Turkey.

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