The World Health Organization officially approved Sinopharm, a coronavirus vaccine of a Chinese-owned company. The vaccine is the first non-Western nation to get the approval of WHO. Furthermore, the Chinese authorities already gave the vaccine to millions of people in the country. Previously, the organization only granted emergency approval to a vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna.
The WHO approves Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine, already in wide use in Zimbabwe and several other African countries. “The addition of this vaccine has the potential to rapidly accelerate COVID-19 vaccine access,” says Dr. Simao of WHO.
— Geoffrey York (@geoffreyyork) May 7, 2021
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) May 7, 2021
However, individual health regulators in different countries – especially poorer ones in Latin America, Asia, and Africa – approved the Chinese vaccine for emergency use. Early on, after the international release of little statistics, the effectiveness of several Chinese vaccines has long been uncertain. However, the WHO said that it authorized the efficacy, safety, and quality of the Sinopharm vaccine manufactured by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products.
Furthermore, the World Health Organization said the addition of the vaccine could instantly accelerate coronavirus vaccine access for nations seeking to protect and save the lives of population and health workers at risk. According to the recommendation of the vaccine manufacturer, it has two doses and is capable of people age eighteen and above. Another decision is expected in the coming days on one more Chinese vaccine established by Sinovac, while the Sputnik COVID vaccine of Russia is under evaluation.
Why does World Health Organization Approval Matter?
The green signal from the WHO is a guideline for national regulators of countries that a vaccine is effective and safe. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of WHO, said that it would give confidence to countries to accelerate their own regulatory approval. His statement also states that the vaccine regulatory authorities of any country can use the vaccine in the global Covax program, which established in 2020 in an effort to ensure fair access to vaccines among poor and rich countries.
After the emergency use approval from the global health body to the Chinese vaccine, it is an expectation that the vaccine will give a substantial boost to the scheme, which is currently struggling with the issues such as supply. According to reports, before the approval of WHO, the Sinopharm vaccine already used broadly, with a projected sixty-five million doses administered. In addition to China, nations such as Pakistan, Hungary, and United Arab Emirates are already using the vaccine.
On Friday, the decision of emergency vaccine approval from the technical advisory group of the WHO reviewed the latest clinical statistics and manufacturing practices. It said the efficacy of the vaccine for hospitalized and symptomatic cases of COVID-19 estimated as seventy-nine percent. Moreover, the health organization noted that some adults over the age of sixty participated in clinical trials, so the effectiveness of the vaccine couldn’t estimate for this age group. However, it said there was no reason to think that the recent vaccine would perform differently in older people.
The WHO is yet to reach a final decision on the Chinese Sinovac vaccine. On Friday, the health body experts said that they were waiting for further information before their final decision for approval. Millions of the vaccine doses already shipped to several countries, which authorized it for emergency use.
How do Chinese Vaccines Work?
One of the main advantages of Chinese vaccines is that one can store them in a standard refrigerator at 02 to 08 degrees Celsius, such as the AstraZeneca vaccine. Furthermore, the World Health Organization said that these easy storage requirements of the Sinopharm vaccine made it highly suitable for low-resource settings. Likewise, the two vaccines of China differ significantly from other coronavirus vaccines currently using in the market, especially those by Moderna and Pfizer.
Chinese vaccines worked in a more traditional way; basically, they are inactivated vaccines. So, they can kill viral particles to expose the human body’s immune system to the virus without risking a severe response to the disease.