WHO approves Chinese Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, saying world ‘desperately’ needs more jabs

who-approves-chinese-sinovac-covid-19-vaccine-for-emergency-use,-saying-world-‘desperately’-needs-more-jabs

02-06-21 08:33:00,

The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine, saying the Chinese-developed jab will help address the global inequality in Covid-19 inoculation rates.

The Beijing-based company’s vaccine is the eighth so far to receive WHO emergency use listing, with the UN agency now set to incorporate the jab into the COVAX vaccine facility, which helps distribute doses to poorer nations.

CoronaVac is also the second Chinese-developed Covid-19 vaccine to be approved by the WHO after the organization gave its backing to the Sinopharm vaccine early last month.

“The world desperately needs multiple Covid-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequity across the globe,” the WHO’s lead on access to medicines and health products, Mariangela Simao, said in a statement on Tuesday.

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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus previously described the differing access to jabs between richer and poorer countries as “vaccine apartheid.”

He told a WHO briefing on Tuesday he was “happy” at the listing of the two-dose Sinovac jab after it was found to be safe and effective.

The WHO chief added that the “easy storage requirements of CoronaVac make it very suitable” for developing countries with limited resources.

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The Chinese jab is an inactivated vaccine, meaning it uses a dead piece of the virus to teach the body how to produce antibodies against Covid-19.

A recent study conducted by the Sao Paulo state government showed the vaccine to be effective against the so-called Brazilian variant of the virus after doses were administered to people in the town of Serrana.

Around 75% of adults in the town of 45,000 people received two doses. In the five weeks following vaccination, Serrana saw a 95% decrease in Covid deaths and an 86% drop in hospitalizations.

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