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China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine likely conducive to global vaccine accessibility: Indian newspaper

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-05-13 14:00
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A staff member at a packaging plant for COVID-19 inactivated vaccine products in the Beijing Biological Products Institute Co Ltd in Beijing, China, Dec 25, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

NEW DELHI - China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, the first non-Western vaccine supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), is likely to be used in the COVAX program, which provides vaccines to low- and middle-income countries, reported the Indian Express newspaper Thursday.

The WHO last week validated the China-developed vaccine for emergency use, a move set to further expand global vaccine accessibility.

According to the WHO, Sinopharm has an efficacy of about 79 percent for symptomatic and hospitalised disease for all age groups. However, it notes that since few adults aged over 60 were enrolled, the efficacy in the age group is not clear, said an article in the paper.

The Sinopharm vaccine is an inactivated coronavirus vaccine, which takes the disease-carrying virus (SARS-CoV-2) and kill it utilizing heat, chemicals or radiation, it said, quoting the WHO as saying that these vaccines take longer to make and might need two or three jabs to be administered.

The WHO has not recommended an upper age limit on the use of this vaccine "because preliminary data and supportive immunogenicity data suggest the vaccine is likely to have a protective effect in older persons. There is no theoretical reason to believe that the vaccine has a different safety profile in older and younger populations," said the report.

The WHO has recommended that the vaccine be administered to adults aged 18 and above in a two-dose schedule with a gap of three to four weeks, it said.

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