WHO Gives Emergency Approval to Sinopharm COVID-19 Vaccine BBIBP-CorV

The World Health Organization announced that it had approved BBIBP-CorV,  a COVID-19 vaccine from China’s state-owned drugmaker Sinopharm for emergency use.

The BBIBP-CorV vaccine, one of two main Chinese shots that already been distributed locally and worldwide has become the first COVID-19 shot developed by a non-Western country to be approved by the WHO.

“This afternoon, WHO gave emergency use listing to Sinopharm Beijing’s  COVID-19 vaccine, making it the sixth vaccine to receive WHO validation for safety, efficacy, and quality,” said WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Ghebreyesus said that the emergency use listing for the shot was developed in partnership with the Beijing Institute of Biological Products.

Alejandro Cravioto, chair of the WHO’s strategic advisory group of experts on immunization, said the expert panel thoroughly assessed the vaccine, and that there was “enough evidence” it was safe and effective by 79 percent.

According to a document reviewed by Reuters, the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) was concerned with serious side-effects of BBIBP-CorV in some patients but was confident in its to prevent  COVID-19.

The WHO added that it could reach a decision on the other Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, made by Sinovac Biotech, as soon as next week. 

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