The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it has approved a Covid-19 vaccine made by Sinovac Biotech for emergency use listing, paving the way for a second Chinese shot to be used in poor countries.
A WHO emergency listing is a signal to national regulators of a product’s safety and efficacy and will allow the Sinovac shot to be included in COVAX, the global programme providing vaccines mainly for poor countries, which faces major supply problems due to curbs on Indian exports.
The WHO’s independent panel of experts said in a statement it recommended Sinovac’s vaccine for adults over 18. There was no upper age limit as data suggested it is likely to have a protective effect in older people.
The WHO’s technical advisory group, which began meeting on May 5, made the decision after reviewing the latest clinical data on the Sinovac vaccine’s safety and efficacy as well as the company’s manufacturing practices.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the move, calling the vaccine safe and effective and noting its easy storage requirements make it suitable for low-income countries.