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WHO to decide whether to approve two Chinese Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use

The World Health Organization is set to decide this week whether to approve two Chinese vaccines for emergency use against Covid-19, a top WHO official says.

CoronaVac, also known as the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. Source: Getty

Such an approval would mark the first time that a Chinese vaccine had ever been granted a so-called emergency use listing from the UN health agency, and would trigger a broader rollout of Chinese vaccines that are already being used in some countries other than China.

Mariangela Simao, assistant director-general for access to medicines, vaccines and pharmaceuticals, says some “final arrangements” remain to be made before the crucial word from a WHO technical advisory group comes on the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.

“We expect that we’ll have both decisions by the end of this week,” she said.

WHO has said it expects a decision on the Sinopharm vaccine to come first, and Sinovac afterward.

“We know that some countries depend on this decision to proceed with their vaccination,” Simao said.