WHO approves China’s ‘Sinopharm’ vaccine for emergency use
Kathmandu, May 8. The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved China’s ‘Sinopharm’ vaccine for emergency use.
The vaccine manufactured by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, is a subsidiary of the China National Biotec Group. It is an inactivated vaccine with easy storage requirements, which makes it highly suitable for low-resource settings.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press briefing said, “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.”
He added, “This expands the list of vaccines that COVAX can buy, and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine.”
It is also the first vaccine that will carry a vaccine vial monitor, a small sticker on the vaccine vials that change color if the vaccine is exposed to heat, letting health workers know whether the vaccine can be safely used.
According to WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), the Sinopharm vaccine is recommended for use in adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of three to four weeks.
According to the press release by WHO, they are not recommending an upper age limit for the Sinopharm vaccine because reviewed data have suggested that the vaccine is likely to have a protective effect in older persons. It also recommends that countries using the vaccine in older age groups conduct safety and effectiveness monitoring.
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