Kalifa Sarah Clyne
The World Health Organization (WHO) has given emergency approval for use of the Chinese covid19 vaccine, Sinopharm.
At a news conference earlier this week, Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said this country would be able to access the Sinopharm vaccine once approved by WHO.
On Friday, WHO announced it will allow the vaccine to be included in its global vaccine facility, COVAX.
WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the vaccine was the sixth to receive WHO validation for safety, efficacy and quality.
“This expands the list of covid19 vaccines that Covax can use and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine,” Ghebreyesus said.
The Sinopharm product is an inactivated vaccine called SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell).
Its easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings. It is the also first vaccine that will carry a vaccine vial monitor – a small sticker on the vaccine vials that change colour as the vaccine is exposed to heat, letting health workers know whether the vaccine can be safely used.