The World Health Organization (WHO) has authorized a Covid-19 vaccine made by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac for emergency use.
It is the second Chinese vaccine to be given WHO authorization after Sinopharm. The decision for Sinovac was announced Tuesday, about a month after Sinopharm.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that CoronaVac was found to be safe, effective, and quality-assured following two doses of the inactivated vaccine.
Sinovac’s vaccine, called CoronaVac, should be used in two doses – spaced between two and four weeks. The vaccine has already been approved for use in 29 countries, including China, Brazil, Turkey, and Mexico.
CoronaVac is easier to store than those from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which must be kept frozen for long-term storage. The Sinovac-CoronaVac product is an inactivated vaccine. Its easy storage requirements make it very manageable and particularly suitable for low-resource settings.
Efficacy studies showed CoronaVac prevented symptomatic disease in just over half of those vaccinated and prevented severe Covid-19 and hospitalization in 100% of those studied, the WHO said in a statement.
As of Tuesday, in addition to the two Chinese vaccines, the W.H.O. has also authorized vaccines created by Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna.