June 2, 2021, 07.38 PM
An image of China's Sinovac vaccine. Shutterstock/rafapressAn image of China's Sinovac vaccine.

KOMPAS.com - The World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday, June 1, that it approved the Covid-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech for emergency use.

It is the second Chinese vaccine to make the list after the shot from Sinopharm was approved in April. The WHO-approved list includes vaccines developed by BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.

The announcement allows the two-dose vaccine to be used as part of the COVAX program, which provides vaccines to many low-income nations. Only the AstraZeneca and BioNTech-Pfizer jabs are currently going through the COVAX scheme.

There is no currently confirmed deal for Sinovac doses to be used under the COVAX program.

Also read: 16 Million Doses of Covid-19 Bulk Vaccine from China’s Sinovac Arrive in Indonesia

'Huge inequality across the globe'

"The world desperately needs multiple Covid-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequity across the globe," said Mariangela Simao, WHO's Assistant Director-General for access to health products.

She added: "We urge manufacturers to participate in the COVAX facility, share their know-how and data and contribute to bringing the pandemic under control."

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the vaccine was safe and effective, and its easy storage requirements made it suitable for harsh climates.

"It's now crucial to get these lifesaving tools to the people that need them quickly," said Ghebreyesus.

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