GENEVA. The World Health Organization yesterday approved the CoronaVac anti-Covid-19 vaccine, developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac, for emergency use. “I am happy to announce that Sinovac’s coronavirus preparation has received WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) after it was found to be safe, effective and of guaranteed quality after two doses of the inactivated vaccine,” said the director general. WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a press conference held by the organization on Tuesday, adding that “in addition, CoronaVac’s easy storage requirements make it particularly suitable for contexts where resources are scarce.”
In an official press release, WHO Assistant Director General for Access to Health Products Mariangela Simao said: “The world desperately needs more Covid-19 vaccines to address the huge inequality of access across the country. world. We urge manufacturers to participate in the Covax Facility, to share their technical knowledge, their data and to help bring the pandemic under control ». Covax is a global coalition working to ensure fair and equitable access to formulations against Covid-19 around the world.
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CoronaVac preparation, developed by Beijing-based Sinovac Life Sciences Co. Ltd., is also an inactivated vaccine, as is the first formulation produced by China, Sinopharm, which has been validated for emergency use by the WHO all beginning of last month. In addition to the two Chinese vaccines, WHO previously approved the anti-Covid-19 preparations developed by Pfizer / BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and two versions of the AstraZeneca / Oxford formulation for emergency use. According to the WHO Strategic Advisory Panel on Immunization (SAGE), the Sinovac vaccine is recommended for use in adults aged 18 and over, given in two doses with an interval of two to four weeks. Data on the effectiveness of the preparation showed that Sinovac prevented the development of severe forms of Covid-19 and hospitalization in 100% of the population studied.
However, as few people over 60 have participated in clinical trials, Sage stated that the effectiveness of the Sinovac vaccine cannot be estimated in this age group. “There is no reason to believe that the vaccine has a different safety profile in older and younger populations,” WHO said in a statement, adding that the Sage does not recommend an upper age limit for the vaccine. because multi-country data and supportive immunogenicity data suggest that the preparation is likely to have a protective effect in older people.
As with previously validated vaccines, WHO recommends that nations using the Sinovac formulation in the older age groups monitor the safety and efficacy of the treatment to verify the expected impact and contribute to make the recommendation more reliable for all countries. The Sage evaluation showed that the Sinovac vaccine had already been authorized by 32 countries or jurisdictions for use in adults aged 18 and over, where 260 million doses have been distributed to the public in domestic and overseas markets.
No safety concerns were identified from pre-clinical or reproductive toxicity studies, while most adverse events were mild or moderate in severity, with symptoms such as injection site pain, headache, fatigue and myalgia. . Given that, according to WHO statistics, more than 80% of Covid-19 vaccine doses globally have been administered in high- and middle-high-income countries and only 0.3% in low-income countries , the two Chinese formulations, thanks to WHO approval for emergency use, are expected to accelerate the spread of immunization in many low- and middle-income states, through purchase and donations by the Covax international initiative against Covid-19 led by WHO.
China has already decided to provide 10 million doses of anti-Covid-19 preparations to the Covax initiative, in order to meet the urgent needs of developing countries, a concrete step to fulfill the promise to make vaccines a public good global. Addressing the recently concluded 74th World Health Assembly, Chinese delegate Yang Feng, who also serves as deputy director of the Health Emergency Response Office affiliated with the National Health Commission of China, said: “China believes that promoting equitable distribution and access to Covid-19 vaccines globally is key to preventing and controlling epidemics and has fulfilled its commitment to provide formulations against Covid-19 as a public good, offering medical assistance to 80 countries , exporting vaccines to 43 countries and supplying 300 million doses worldwide ”. “China will continue to make its contribution to promoting the accessibility of vaccines in developing countries and keeping the price of preparations low,” added Yang, calling for solidarity and global cooperation to build a united community from the future. shared for all humanity.