WHO approves emergency use of China’s SINOVAC


The World Health Organisation on June 1, 2021, gave its approval to the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine SINOVAC for emergency use. It is the second Chinese vaccine that has received the global health body’s green light.

The WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, while making the announcement, stated that the SINOVAC vaccine has found to be effective, safe and quality assured following two doses of the inactivated vaccine.

SINOVAC has become the 8th vaccine to receive the Emergency Use Listing from WHO. The vaccine has been produced by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Company Sinovac Biotech.  

Other vaccines to receive Emergency use listing by WHO:

WHO has also given the emergency use listing to the COVID-19 vaccines namely, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNtech, Johnson & Johnson, and the AstraZeneca being produced in EU, India, and South Korea, and Sinopharm of China.

WHO urges for SINOVAC to be part of COVAX facility:

The approval by the World Health Organisation has opened the door for the jab to be used in the COVAX Programme, which aims at ensuring fair access to vaccines.

As per the WHO assistant-director general for Access to Health Products, the world desperately needs multiple Coronavirus vaccines for addressing the huge access inequity across the globe.

WHO has requested the manufacturers to participate in the COVAX Facility and has asked to share their data and contribute to bringing the pandemic under control.

Who can take the jabs of the SINOVAC Vaccine?

The World Health Organisation has recommended the SINOVAC vaccine for use in individuals 18 years or above. The vaccine will be administered in a schedule of two doses with a gap of two to four weeks.

Efficacy results of SINOVAC Vaccine:

As per the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, the efficacy results have shown that SINOVAC prevented the symptomatic disease in 51% of those vaccinated, and prevented severe COVID-19 infection and hospitalization in 100% of the studied population.

Efficacy on people over 60 years- The WHO informed that as few people over 60 years of age were enrolled in the clinical trials, the efficacy of the SINOVAC Vaccine cannot be estimated in this age group.

There is no reason to believe that SINOVAC has a different safety profile in the older and younger population. The statement released from China added that the WHO is not recommending an upper age limit for the vaccine, as the data collected in multiple countries have suggested that the vaccine is expected to have a protective effect in older people.

As per Xinhua, WHO has recommended that the nations using the vaccine in the older age groups must conduct safety and effectiveness monitoring for verifying the expected impact and contribute to making the recommendation more strong for all the countries around the world.

Two Chinese COVID-19 vaccines approved by WHO:

Before SINOVAC, Sinopharm of China had become the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive the emergency use listing by WHO. The approval was given in May 2021. The Sinopharm vaccine is developed by Beijing Bio Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd., it is a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group.

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