The World Health Organization (WHO) has given China’s Sinopharm vaccine approval for emergency use, making it the first non-Western vaccine to get a green light from the international health agency. The news could make it easier for China expats who have received the vaccine to travel abroad, as more countries are now likely to recognize the jab.
Source: Ministerio de Defensa del Perú
Previously, the WHO had only approved the vaccines made by Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. China’s other leading vaccine, Sinovac, is still under review, with the WHO requesting more information before a decision that is expected this week. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is also under WHO review.
Although sparse data has been released internationally and reports of efficacy have varied wildly, both Chinese vaccines have already been approved for emergency use in several countries, especially developing nations in Africa, Asia and South America.
On Friday, however, the WHO said it could confirm the safety, efficacy and quality of the Sinopharm jab and reported its efficacy for symptomatic Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations at be at 79%. By comparison, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are said to have an efficacy rate of around 90%, while AstraZeneca is thought to be around 76%.
The ruling means the Sinopharm vaccine can now be used in the global Covax program, which is working to distribute vaccines across the developing world. As the jab can be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures rather than the ultra cold temperatures required for the Pfizer vaccine, the WHO hopes it will be instrumental in the quest to inoculate low income countries, who have been struggling to secure supplies. The WHO ruling is also likely to persuade more developed countries to recognized the Sinophram vaccine, making it easier for those who have had it to gain entry.
Around 65 million does of the Sinopharm vaccine have already been administered around the world, according to estimates. The WHO noted that there is little data on the efficacy of the jab for over the over 60s, but that they have no reason to believe it would behave differently than with younger recipients.
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Keywords: China expat WHO approves Sinopharm
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Sinopharm's official entry into the COVAX stable will now ramp up current inadequate efforts in fighting the pandemic by increasing vaccine production and distribution to perennially underserved poor countries. The status quo has overstretched the latter's health sector and hampered economic recovery efforts.
May 11, 2021 10:10 Report Abuse