WHO approves Sinovac vaccine for emergency use
Published: Jun 02, 2021 12:45 AM
Photo taken on April 25, 2021 shows a batch of China-donated Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines arriving at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Botswana.(Photo: Xinhua)

Photo taken on April 25, 2021 shows a batch of China-donated Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines arriving at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Botswana. Photo: Xinhua

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced it has approved Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, making it the second vaccine produced in China, after Sinopharm, that has received the approval. 

The approval of the two Chinese vaccines demonstrates the ability of Chinese manufacturers and quality of their products will help China to make a greater contribution to the global fight against the pandemic.

"Today, I'm happy to announce that the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine has been given WHO Emergency Use Listing after being found to be safe, effective and quality assured, following two doses of the inactivated vaccine," the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said during a press conference on Tuesday. 

"Furthermore, the easy storage requirements of CoronaVac make it very suitable for low-resource settings. It is now the eighth vaccine to receive Emergency Use Listing by WHO. It is now crucial to get these lifesaving tools to the people that need them quickly," Tedros noted.  

The approval of two Chinese vaccines is a solid demonstration that China not only has the will and motivation to help fight the global pandemic but the capability to do so, Feng Duojia, President of the China Vaccine Industry Association, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Experts noted that in the future, more Chinese producers will try to obtain approval from the WHO and join the fight against COVID-19, displaying China's contribution in the battle that is vital to the world. In the meantime, the US sits on piles of vaccines while turning a blind eye to the struggle, and India, the world's major vaccine producer, tries to tackle its own deadly outbreak.

Prior to the approval, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) had recommended two doses of the Sinovac vaccine for adults aged 18 and above with an interval of 2 to 4 weeks.

In a statement shared with the Global Times, Yin Weidong, Chairman of Sinovac, said that the Phase III clinical trial and real-world studies in Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia and Chile have provided a solid scientific foundation for CoronaVac to be approved by more than 40 countries, as well as the WHO. 

"As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, Sinovac will continue to participate in pandemic prevention and control actions, acknowledging the value of China's COVID-19 vaccine as a global public good and contributing to the international triumph over the COVID-19 pandemic," Yin said. 

So far, Sinovac has provided shots to nearly 40 countries and regions, including the Chinese mainland. The company's supply has already exceeded 600 million doses making it the largest domestic supplier and exporter of China's COVID-19 vaccine, read the statement.