WHO approves China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine
GENEVA, May 7, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – The World Health Organization on
Friday approved the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use —
the first Chinese jab to receive the WHO’s green light.
The UN health agency signed off on the two-dose vaccine, which is
already being deployed in dozens of countries around the world.
The WHO has already given emergency use listing to the vaccines
being made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and the
AstraZeneca jab being produced at separate sites in India and in South
“This afternoon, WHO gave emergency use listing to Sinopharm
Beijing’s Covid-19 vaccine, making it the sixth vaccine to receive WHO
validation for safety, efficacy and quality,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus told a news conference.
“The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation, or SAGE,
has also reviewed the available data, and recommends the vaccine for
adults 18 years and older, with a two-dose schedule.”
An emergency use listing by the WHO paves the way for countries
worldwide to quickly approve and import a vaccine for distribution,
especially those states without an international-standard regulator of
It also opens the door for the jabs to enter the Covax global
vaccine-sharing scheme, which aims to provide equitable access to
doses around the world and particularly in poorer countries.
The Sinopharm vaccine is already in use in 42 territories around
the world, fourth behind AstraZeneca (166), Pfizer-BioNTech (94) and
Moderna (46), according to an AFP tally.
Besides China, it is being used in Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt,
Hungary, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Peru, the United Arab Emirates, Serbia
and Seychelles, among others.
A clutch of other vaccines are on the road towards WHO emergency
use listing, including a second Sinopharm product being made in Wuhan
— the city where coronavirus was first detected.
A decision is expected within days on Sinovac, a second
Chinese-made vaccine already being used in 22 countries.
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is the next furthest ahead in the process.