The World Health Organization has approved the emergency use of a COVID-19 jab made by Sinovac, paving the way for a second vaccine produced in China to be distributed among developing countries.
The UN health agency gave the green light to the two-shot vaccine on Tuesday as the jab “meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing”, read a statement.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the move, noting the vaccine’s easy storage requirements make it suitable for low-income countries.
“It’s now crucial to get these lifesaving tools to the people that need them quickly,” he told a briefing.
The WHO’s approval helps countries worldwide to quickly approve and import a vaccine for distribution, especially those states without an international-standard regulator of their own.
The organisation has also given emergency use listing to vaccines being made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and the AstraZeneca jab being produced in India, South Korea and the European Union, which it counts separately.
An independent panel of experts said in a statement it recommended Sinovac’s vaccine for adults above 18, with a second dose two to four weeks later. There was no upper age limit as data suggested it is likely to have a protective effect in older people. Al Jazeera