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WHO approves China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

DUBLIN: The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Sinopharm is first Chinese vaccine to receive the WHO’s green light.

The two-dose vaccine is already being distributed in many countries around the world. With the approval of the UN health agency, Beijing will be able to step up its vaccine diplomacy in the wake of a surge in coronavirus vaccinations in many countries.

China has approved about five of its COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use, with Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines being the most common. Sinovac is currently in use in 22 countries, but the vaccine has yet to be approved by the WHO.

“This afternoon, WHO gave emergency use listing to Sinopharm Beijing’s COVID-19 vaccine, making it the sixth vaccine to receive WHO validation for safety, efficacy and quality,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference.

The World Health Organization has already approved six vaccines for emergency use, including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and the AstraZeneca jab.

“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,” WHO chief added.

The WHO’s approval would make it easier for countries all over the world to approve and import vaccines for distribution. This will be more helpful for countries that do not have an international standard regulator.

The Second Chinese-made vaccine Sinovac, and the Sputnik V vaccine made in Russia are next in the WHO approval process.

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