Friday, May 7th, 2021
Corona vaccine from China
WHO grants Sinopharm emergency approval
Another corona vaccine receives emergency approval from the WHO. This time it is the first time that Sinopharm’s vaccine has been developed in China. The effectiveness is said to be almost 80 percent. The approval has no effect for the EU or the USA – but it does for many other countries around the world.
Sinopharm is the first Chinese company to receive emergency approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) for its corona vaccine. This was announced by WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. This allows UN organizations to buy and distribute the funds. China already promised ten million doses in February to the international UN vaccination program Covax, on which many poorer countries rely.
The independent advisory board SAGE approved the vaccine for people over the age of 18, Tedros said. Two doses are necessary for full vaccination protection. SAGE states the effectiveness with 79 percent. A WHO emergency approval (EUL – Emergency Use Listing) already exists for the corona vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer, Astrazeneca, Janssen / Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. A second Chinese vaccine, from Sinovac, is still being tested by the WHO, similar to other vaccines, including the Russian substance Sputnik V and the drug from the US company Novavax.
For the EU, the USA and other countries with regulatory authorities, the emergency approval of the WHO is of no relevance. You check active ingredients yourself and decide on approval. But countries that do not have the capacity to conduct their own scientific testing use WHO quality testing as a basis for their own approval.
For emergency approval, WHO experts test safety and effectiveness with the help of the submitted phase 2 and phase 3 studies. They also inspect the manufacturing process and risk precautions. The companies undertake to continue to provide all relevant data to the WHO.
According to official figures, China has already administered more than 200 million doses of vaccines in its own country, including those from Sinopharm, Sinovac and other domestic manufacturers. More than 100 million cans have been delivered abroad. Around 80 countries and three international organizations are named. Beijing did not provide any information on whether the vaccine was given for free or at reduced prices.
More expensive than Biontech / Pfizer?
Like most manufacturers, Sinopharm does not name any prices itself. These are negotiated individually depending on the quantity and recipient. The health portal of the prestigious Geneva University Graduate Institute lists in a table of estimates based on concluded contracts between 18.55 and almost 35.72 dollars per dose of Sinopharm’s vaccine. That would make it more expensive than the one from Biontech / Pfizer, which is listed in the table at 6.75 and 23.50 dollars (19.50 euros).
As with the other vaccines, when vaccinated with the Sinopharm product, slight vaccination reactions can occur, such as the vaccinated person feeling weak. “I didn’t feel any side effects,” said a 62-year-old German who works in Beijing and was vaccinated with Sinopharm. He feels more secure should there be a renewed accumulation of cases in China. “Above all, we hope that there will soon be easier travel for vaccinated people so that we can travel to Germany again.” Depending on the occupation, leaving and returning to China is currently difficult or impossible. In any case, returnees have to spend two weeks in a quarantine hotel.