Geneva, June 1: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday validated the Sinovac-CoronaVac Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving countries, procuring agencies and communities the assurance that it meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing.
The vaccine is produced by Beijing-based pharmaceutical company Sinovac.
"The world desperately needs multiple Covid-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequity across the globe," WHO Assistant Director General for Access to Health Products, Mariangela Simao, said in a statement.
"We urge manufacturers to participate in the Covax Facility, share their knowhow and data and contribute to bringing the pandemic under control," Simao added.
WHO's Emergency Use Listing (EUL) is a prerequisite for Covax facility vaccine supply and international procurement. It also allows countries to expedite their regulatory approval to import and administer Covid-19 vaccines.
The EUL assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, as well as risk management plans and programmatic suitability, such as cold chain requirements.
In the case of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine, the WHO assessment included on-site inspections of the production facility.
The Sinovac-CoronaVac product is an inactivated vaccine. Its easy storage requirements make it very manageable and particularly suitable for low-resource settings.
WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) has also completed its review of the vaccine.