WHO approves Sinovac, Thailand’s current main vaccine, for emergency use

The World Health Organization has approved the Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine for emergency use, which is the second Chinese vaccine to receive approval from the global body, after Sinopharm.

According to the WHO’s announcement, the emergency approval means the vaccine “meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing”.

In the same announcement, the WHO recommends the vaccine for use in people 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of two to four weeks between doses.

“Vaccine efficacy results show that the vaccine prevents symptomatic disease in 51% of those inoculated and prevents severe COVID-19 and hospitalization in 100% of the studied population.”

The WHO is not, however, recommending the vaccine for people aged 60 and over as “few older adults (over 60 years) were enrolled in clinical trials, so [the] efficacy could not be estimated in this age group.”

“The WHO recommends that countries using the vaccine in older age groups conduct safety and effectiveness monitoring, to verify the expected impact and contribute to making the recommendations more robust for all countries.”

Many other countries have already used the Sinovac vaccines, such as Chile, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey.

More than 3.6 million vaccine doses have been administered in Thailand to date, most of which are Sinovac. Six million doses of Sinovac have been delivered from China to Thailand to date, with three million more expected later this month.

Only two out of five vaccine brands approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration have been procured and administered to date – Sinovac and AstraZeneca. Up to 61 million doses of the latter are expected to be locally produced and delivered from this month till the end of the year.


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