On April 24, 2021, workers at Damascus International Airport in the Syrian capital unloaded boxes of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine donated by China.
Loua Beshara | AFP | Getty Images
The World Health Organization announced on Friday that it had approved an emergency coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.
Beijing’s Covid vaccine is recommended for adults aged 18 and over with a double dose, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference.
The new addition to the list of usable vaccine options could accelerate efforts to control the spread of Covid-19 and its variant forms, which are causing new infections in many parts of the world.
“To solve the vaccine crisis, we have to pull out all the stops,” said Tedros.
Sinopharm’s shot is the sixth to receive WHO approval for “safety, efficacy and quality,” he said.
“Vaccines remain an important tool. However, at the moment, the volume and distribution of vaccines is insufficient to end the pandemic without the sustained and tailored application of public health measures that we know work,” said Tedros.
“The pandemic has shown that everything is at risk when health is at risk. When health is protected and promoted, individuals, families, communities, economies and nations can thrive,” he said.
The state-owned drug manufacturer’s two-dose Covid shot has already been approved for emergencies in China, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Another Chinese shot by the private company Sinovac has not yet been approved by the WHO.
In the US, vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have received emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
WHO has granted emergency validation for these three shots as well as vaccines made by Astrazeneca-SK BIO and the Serum Institute of India.