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First Chinese vaccine Sinopharm got approval by WHO

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    Science & Technology
  • Published
    8th May, 2021


The World Health Organization (WHO) approved the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, the first Chinese jab to receive the WHO's green light.

About the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine

  • EUL: WHO gave emergency use listing (EUL) to Sinopharm Beijing's Covid-19 vaccine.
    • Safer: It has become the sixth vaccine to receive WHO validation for safety, efficacy and quality.
    • Additional support: The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation, or SAGE, has also reviewed the available data, and recommends the vaccine for adults 18 years and older, with a two-dose schedule.
  • Institution: The Sinopharm vaccine is produced by the Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, which is a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (CNBG).
    • It is a two-dose vaccine.
    • It is an inactivated vaccine called SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell).
    • Its easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings.
  • Widespread use:The Sinopharm vaccine is already in use in 42 territories around the world.
    • It is fourth most used vaccine behind AstraZeneca (166), Pfizer-BioNTech (94) and Moderna (46).
    • Along with China, it is being used in Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Peru, the United Arab Emirates, Serbia and Seychelles, among others.

How the move is significant?

  • Accessibility: It opens the door for the jabs to enter in the Covax global vaccine-sharing scheme.
    • It aims to provide equitable access to doses around the world and especially in the poorer countries.
  • The move would help Beijing to step up its vaccine diplomacy amid the surge in coronavirus vaccines in several countries.

Emergency Use Listing (EUL)

  • The EUL assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as risk management plans and programmatic suitability, such as cold chain requirements.
  • The assessment is performed by the product evaluation group which is composed by regulatory experts from around the world and a Technical Advisory Group (TAG).
  • An emergency use listing by the WHO paves the way for countries worldwide to quickly approve and import a vaccine for distribution, especially those states without an international-standard regulator of their own.

Vaccines approved under the EUL for Covid-19

  • The WHO has given emergency use listing to the vaccines being made by
    • Pfizer-BioNTech
    • Moderna
    • Johnson and Johnson
    • AstraZeneca
    • Sinopharm
    • Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is also the next furthest ahead in the process