The World Health Organization has given the green light to the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, paving the way for use of the Chinese-made worldwide.
Created by the Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Company, a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (CNBG), Sinopharm can now be distributed as part of COVAX, the UN-led mechanism that provides COVID-19 vaccines to countries in the developing world.
“The addition of this vaccine has the potential to rapidly accelerate COVID-19 vaccine access for countries seeking to protect health workers and populations at risk,” said Mariângela Simão, WHO assistant-director general for access to health products, in a press release on Friday.
“We urge the manufacturer to participate in the COVAX Facility and contribute to the goal of more equitable vaccine distribution.”
WHO’s emergency listing was given to Sinopharm after inspections of its manufacturing facilities. It estimates that Siopharm is 79% effective against coronavirus.
WHO has also listed the Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna vaccines for emergency use.
Sinopharm is already in wide use in Europe, including in Serbia – where it is produced – and Hungary.