The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday approved the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac for emergency use, the second Chinese vaccine to receive the global health body's green light. The CoronaVac vaccine is produced by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech.
"The world desperately needs multiple COVID-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequity across the globe," said Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant-director general for Access to Health Products.
"We urge manufacturers to participate in the COVAX Facility, share their know-how and data and contribute to bringing the pandemic under control," Simao added.
The WHO recommended the vaccine for use in people 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of two to four weeks, Xinhua reported citing WHO's statement.
"The efficacy results showed that the Sinovac vaccine prevented symptomatic disease in 51 per cent of those vaccinated, and prevented severe COVID-19 and hospitalization in 100 per cent of the studied population," according to the WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE).
However, as few people over 60 years old were enrolled in clinical trials, the WHO said the Sinovac vaccine's efficacy could not be estimated in this age group.
"There is no reason to believe that the vaccine has a different safety profile in older and younger populations," the statement said, adding that the WHO is not recommending an upper age limit for the vaccine because data collected in multiple countries and supportive immunogenicity data suggest the vaccine is likely to have a protective effect in older persons.
According to Xinhua, WHO recommends that countries using the Sinovac vaccine in older age groups conduct safety and effectiveness monitoring to verify the expected impact and contribute to making the recommendation more robust for all countries.
Last month, Sinopharm became the first COVID-19 jab developed by a Chinese company to receive the emergency use listing.
The Sinopharm vaccine is produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (CNBG).
(With ANI inputs)