The WHO’s assistant director-general for access to health products Mariangela Simao said that “The world desperately needs multiple Covid-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequity across the globe”.It is the second Chinese vaccine to receive the green light from the WHO, after Sinopharm.
It prevented symptomatic disease in 51% of those vaccinated and prevented severe symptoms and hospitalization in 100% of samples. Some evidence and data gaps are still lacking though, according to WHO experts.
The approval opens the door for the jab to be used in the Covax program, which aims to ensure fair access to vaccines. The vaccine, which has already been used in several countries, has been recommended for over 18s, with a second dose two to four weeks later. The emergency approval means the vaccine “meets international standards for safety, efficacy, and manufacturing”.
Brazil has the second deadliest outbreak of Covid infections in the world. It is hoped that the decision to list the Chinese vaccine for emergency use will give a boost to the Covax initiative, which has been struggling with supply problems. The world desperately needs multiple Covid-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequity across the globe.
China also said that it has already produced 10 million doses of Covid vaccines for the Covax scheme and that it aims to hit 3 billion doses by the end of the year. The vaccine is already being administered in countries including Chile, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand, and Turkey.
One of the Sinovac Vaccine advantages is that it can be stored in a standard refrigerator at 2-8 degrees Celsius. This means Sinovac is more useful to developing countries that might not be able to store large amounts of vaccine at low temperatures. The emergency approval came as the heads of the WHO, the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank appealed for a $50bn (£35bn) investment fund to help end the pandemic.
They have called for the money to be invested in areas including vaccine production, oxygen supplies, and Covid-19 treatments, ensuring they are distributed fairly and wealthy countries donate vaccine doses immediately to developing nations.