Geneva, June 2 – L‘World Health Organization approved for emergency use the CoronaVac vaccine against Covid-19, developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac. “I am happy to announce that Sinovac’s coronavirus preparation received WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) after it was found to be safe, effective and quality assured after two doses of the inactivated vaccine,” said the director general of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, adding that “Furthermore, CoronaVac’s easy storage requirements make it particularly suitable for contexts where resources are scarce.”
How the Sinovac vaccine works
CoronaVac preparation, developed by Beijing-based Sinovac Life Sciences Co. Ltd., is also a inactivated vaccine, as well as China’s first formulation, Sinopharm, which was validated for emergency use by WHO early 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 Expert Advisory Group on Immunization (Sage), the Sinovac vaccine is recommended for use in adults aged 18 and over, administered in two doses with an interval 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.
Safety and adverse events
Sage’s 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 one was identified security issue from pre-clinical studies or of reproductive toxicity, while most of the adverse events they 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 the doses of the Covid-19 vaccine 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 the approval for emergency use by the WHO, should accelerate the spread of immunization in many low- and middle-income states, through the purchase and donations of the Covax international initiative against Covid-19 led by WHO.
Covax: 10 million doses from China
WHO Assistant Director General for Access to Healthcare Products Mariangela Simao said: “The world desperately needs more Covid-19 vaccines to address the huge inequality of access around the world. We urge manufacturers to join the Covax Facility, to share their technical knowledge, their data and to help bring the pandemic under control. “Covax is a global coalition which works to ensure fair and equitable access to formulations against Covid-19 around the world. China has already decided to deliver 10 million doses of anti Covid-19 preparations to the Covax initiative, so as to meet the urgent needs of the Developing countries, a concrete step to deliver on the promise of making vaccines a global public good.
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