China’s Sinovac vaccine gets WHO emergency approval

The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved China’s Sinovac Covid vaccine for emergency use, the BBC reports.

The WHO said it prevented symptomatic disease in 51% of those vaccinated and prevented severe symptoms and hospitalisation in 100% of samples.

Some evidence and data gaps are still lacking though, according to WHO experts.

It is the second Chinese vaccine to receive the green light from the WHO, after Sinopharm.

The approval opens the door for the jab to be used in the Covax programme, which aims to ensure fair access to vaccines.

The vaccine, which has already been used in several countries, has been recommended for over 18s, with a second dose two to four weeks later.

The emergency approval means the vaccine “meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing”, the WHO said.

A study in a Brazilian city saw a 95% drop in Covid deaths after it vaccinated almost all of its adults with Sinovac.

Serrana, in the Southeastern Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, is home to 45,000 residents. Once 75% of its population was vaccinated, the number of cases and hospitalisations fell, according to the study.

Brazil has the second deadliest outbreak of Covid infections in the world.

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