The World Health Organization has granted emergency approval for the use of a Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine for adults 18 and older.
The U.N. health agency approved a vaccine Tuesday made by Sinovac Biotech, a Chinese biopharmaceutical company. It was the second time the WHO approved a vaccine made by a Chinese company on an emergency basis.
The WHO said data submitted by Sinovac indicated that two doses of the vaccine prevented symptoms from developing in just over half of those who received vaccinations. The agency also said it could not estimate the efficacy of the vaccine in people over 60 because few people in that age group participated in trials.
The WHO’s decision makes another vaccine available for use in poorer countries through COVAX, an international program that distributes vaccines to developing nations, many of them impoverished.
But COVAX’s distribution efforts have been slowed after its largest vaccine supplier in India said it was forced to stop supplying vaccines until the end of the year because of sharp rises in infections in the country.
Last month, the agency approved for emergency use a vaccine made by Sinopharm, a Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company. Other vaccines approved on an emergency basis by the WHO were manufactured by AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer-BioNTech.
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