The emergency approval adds a new vaccine to COVAX's arsenal, the Washington Post adds. COVAX was established earlier in the pandemic to enable global and equitable sharing of COVID-19 vaccines and made its first shipment in February. However, the effort has also been hindered by wealthier countries procuring vaccines directly from developers, rather than through the initiative, and by concerns over a lack of transparency.
"This expands the list of COVID-19 vaccines that COVAX can buy, and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a Friday press briefing, according to the Post.
The Guardian adds that the WHO recommends the vaccine for adults 18 years and older in a two-dose regimen, though notes the analysis included few adults over the age of 65.
According to the Post, the emergency approval also bolsters the international stature of Sinopharm, as this is the first such approval given by the WHO to a Chinese-made vaccine.