WHO gives emergency use approval for Sinopharm vaccine

The World Health Organization approved a coronavirus vaccine from China’s state-owned drugmaker Sinopharm for emergency use on Friday, Reuters reports.

The vaccine, is the first developed by a non-Western country to win WHO backing. It is also the first time the WHO has given emergency use approval to a Chinese vaccine for any infectious disease.

A WHO emergency listing is a signal to national regulators that a product is safe and effective. It also allows it to be included in Covax, a global programme to provide vaccines mainly for poor countries, which has hit supply problems.

“This expands the list of coronavirus vaccines that Covax can buy, and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing.

The WHO had already given emergency approval to coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and, last week, Moderna.

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