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WHO gives emergency approval to China's Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, sixth jab to be backed by UN agency

WHO gives emergency approval to China's Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, sixth jab to be backed by UN agency
The World Health Organization (WHO) has given emergency use authorization to a Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by China's Sinopharm, making it the sixth such inoculation to receive the agency's green light.

The approval of the jab, which was developed with the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, is for all adults aged 18 and over with a two-dose regimen.

The vaccine demonstrated an overall efficacy against Covid-19 of 78.1% in international phase 3 clinical trials and 78.7% efficacy in preventing hospitalization, according to WHO data.

“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,” the health agency's Director General Tedros Adhahom Ghebreysus said on Friday.

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He added that the Sinopharm approval expands the list of jabs that can be bought by the COVAX facility – the initiative designed to boost equitable global vaccine distribution.

Sinopharm has produced two Covid-19 vaccines in total, with its other jab developed with the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products. This two-dose jab has not yet been approved by the WHO.

The other vaccines given the green light by the health agency to date are those from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, the Serum Institute of India, and Johnson & Johnson.

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While most of the jabs approved by the WHO are either mRNA or viral vector vaccines, Beijing's Sinopharm product is what's known as an ‘inactivated’ inoculation.

Vaccines in this category contain a dead part of the virus, which when injected will trigger an immune response in the body to fight infection.

Sinopharm's vaccine has also been authorized for adults by some 45 countries and jurisdictions globally, while more than 65 million doses have been administered to date.

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