Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) has validated the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinopharm for emergency use, a move set to boost global vaccine rollout, particularly in the developing world.
“This afternoon, the 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,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press briefing on Friday.
China’s premier news agency reported that the jab is an inactivated vaccine with easy storage requirements, which makes it highly suitable for use in low-resource settings.
It is also the first vaccine that will carry a vial monitor, which changes colour if exposed to heat, letting health workers know whether the vaccine can be safely used.
According to the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, the Sinopharm vaccine is recommended for use in adults 18 years and older in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of three to four weeks.
With the WHO’s validation for emergency use, the Sinopharm vaccine, as the first COVID-19 vaccine developed by a non-western country, is expected to accelerate vaccine rollout in many low and middle-income countries through purchase and delivery by the WHO-led initiative.