GENEVA: The World Health Organization on Friday approved the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use -- the first Chinese jab to receive the WHO's green light. The UN health agency signed off on the two-dose vaccine, which is already being deployed in dozens of countries around the world. The WHO has already given emergency use listing to the vaccines being made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and the AstraZeneca jab being produced at separate sites in India and in South Korea.
"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 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." An emergency use listing by the WHO paves the way for countries worldwide to quickly approve and import a vaccine for distribution, especially those states without an international-standard regulator of their own.—AFP