The World Health Organization has granted emergency use authorization for a Covid-19 vaccine made by, China’s state-owned drugmakers, Sinopharm (OTCMKTS: SHTDY). The vaccine is one of the two coronavirus shots used in China and the first manufactured non-Western country to receive approval by WHO.
The approval allows the Sinopharm vaccine to be part of Covax, a global program to provide vaccines to poor countries, which have encountered supply shortages or other issues.
“This expands the list of covid-19 vaccines that Covax can buy, and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news briefing on Friday.
According to Jennifer Huand Bouey, an epidemiologist who works with the Rand Corp., the news can serve as a comfort to developing countries that do not have access to vaccines made in the United States or Europe.
“China has the manufacturing capacity desperately needed by the world for Covid-19 vaccines as well as the political will to support the UN’s Covax system,” Huang Bouey wrote in an email.
Senior WHO adviser Bruce Aylward said, it was up to Sinopharm to reveal the amount of doses it could provide the COVAX program, and added: “They are looking at trying to provide substantial support, make substantial doses available while at the same time of course trying to serve China’s population.”
Thus far, Sinopharm has been able to supply more than 200 million doses in China and abroad.