The World Health Organization has approved the emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by China’s Sinopharm. WHO’s decision opens the possibility that Sinopharm’s offering could be included in the United Nations-backed COVAX programme in coming weeks or months, and distributed through United Nations children’s agency UNICEF and WHO’s Americas regional office. A summary posted online by WHO suggests the vaccine is about 78 percent effective.
The Sinopharm vaccine will join ones made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India, in receiving the coveted authorisation from the UN health agency.
Sinopharm has not published its late-stage test results in scientific journals, so the WHO requested a breakdown of its data, which come mostly from the United Arab Emirates.