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WHO lists Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use and the EU considering approval of Sinovac’s Vero Cell since 4th May

WHO today listed the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving the green light for this vaccine to be rolled out globally. The Sinopharm vaccine is produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (CNBG).

“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 Dr Mariângela Batista Galvão Simão, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Health Products. “We urge the manufacturer to participate in the COVAX Facility and contribute to the goal of more equitable vaccine distribution.”

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General World Health Organization, at
the AI for Good Global Summit 2018. ITU Pictures through Wikimedia Commons.

During the press conference held this evening, WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, praised once more POTUS, Joe Biden initiative on issuing a temporary waiver for the IP rules that apply to COVID-19 vaccines and urged again Governments to follow his example: “we are in an unprecedented crisis that requires an unprecedented action. Crisis is at unprecedented high. Almost 10.000 people are dying globally each week. And we have a chronic vaccine crisis. The World Trade Organisation waiver provissions were designed precisely for situations like this. If we don’t use them now, then ¿when?. It is also important to remember that Intellectual Property waivers will need to be accompanied by transfer of technology and know how for this difficult to make vaccines. We continue to encourage all member States to support technology transfers Rosetta, the COVID-19 technology access pool”.

WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) is a prerequisite for COVAX Facility vaccine supply. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

WHO has also listed to date the following vaccines: the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for emergency use on 31 December 2020; two AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines on 15 February 2021, produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India; and COVID-19 vaccine Ad26.COV2.S developed by Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) on 12 March 2021.

Last 4rht May EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) started a rolling review of COVID-19 Vaccine (Vero Cell) Inactivated, developed by Sinovac Life Sciences Co., Ltd. The EU applicant for this medicine is Life’On S.r.l.

The Sinopharm vaccine proved 79% effective

The Sinopharm product is an inactivated vaccine called SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell). Its easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings. It is the also first vaccine that will carry a vaccine vial monitor, a small sticker on the vaccine vials that change color as the vaccine is exposed to heat, letting health workers know whether the vaccine can be safely used.

WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) has also completed its review of the vaccine. On the basis of all available evidence, WHO recommends the vaccine for adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of three to four weeks. Vaccine efficacy for symptomatic and hospitalized disease was estimated to be 79%, all age groups combined.

Image over the headline.- Vaccination against Covid 19 with the Sinopharm Vero Cell vaccine at the Peruvian Navy Medical Center. Image from the Ministry of Defense of Peru via Wikimedia Commons. To see the original image and read the license terms, click here

Related Eastwind links:

Biden-Harris administration, to support temporary waiver on intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19.- Russia goes for the intellectual property waiver for vaccines while China could support it if proves effective

COVID-19.- International call on President Biden for a waiver on intellectual property rules on vaccines

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