WHO approves Covid vaccine made by China’s Sinopharm for emergency use

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Workers unload boxes containing the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, donated by China, at the Damascus International Airport on April 24, 2021, in the Syrian capital.

Loua Beshara | AFP | Getty Images

The World Health Organization said Friday it has approved for emergency use a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical group Sinopharm.

Beijing’s Covid vaccine is recommended for adults 18 years and up with a two-dose regimen, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing.

The new addition to the list of usable vaccine options could hasten efforts to control the spread of Covid-19 and its variant forms, which are driving new infections in many parts of the world.

“Solving the vaccine crisis requires that we pull out all the stops,” Tedros said.

Sinopharm’s shot is the sixth to receive WHO’s approval for “safety, efficacy and quality,” he said.

“Vaccines remain a vital tool. But right now, the volume and distribution of vaccines is insufficient to end the pandemic, without the sustained and tailored application of public health measures that we know work,” Tedros said.

“The pandemic has shown that when health is at risk, everything is at risk. But when health is protected and promoted, individuals, families, communities, economies and nations can thrive,” he said.

The state-owned drugmaker’s two-dose Covid shot has already been approved for emergency use in China, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

In the U.S., vaccines developed by PfizerBioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have received emergency use authorizations by the Food and Drug Administration.

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