Sinopharm & SinoVac approved by WHO: What it means for the world?

Indonesia is a major front in China's Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy — Quartz
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Since the breakout of pandemic, scientists are working by midnight oil to find cure or any preventive measure against this deadly virus. Thankfully due to sharing of knowledge and provision of funding and resources, scientist have been able to prepare vaccines. Moreover, scientist are also working on production of next generation vaccine named as pill vaccines or nasal sprays. Other means to find cure for it has already been initiated. Many countries around the world are racing for the development and approval of vaccine by WHO.

According to FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute that is currently tracking the development of COVID-19 vaccines, five companies are developing oral vaccines. Two of them have moved on to phase 1 clinical trials. Among 13 companies working on a nasal spray vaccine, five are in early clinical trials.

Regulatory bodies are no exception along with public health care system around the globe that are challenged by these events of pandemic. When scientific body was engaged in investigating the cause and cure of this infection, regulatory authorities are subjected to prepare guidelines and procedure regarding use and application of investigational products developed by researchers in order to maximize the efficiency of assessment, review and authorizations of these products.

Taking all things into consideration, WHO has issued a list of COVID vaccines that can be used for emergency use and the list can be extend further depending upon the efficacy of incoming vaccine. Recently in efforts to eradicate the infection, WHO has gives green signal for the use of Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccine around the globe.

In a conversation, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Health Products said: “The addition of this vaccine has the potential to rapidly accelerate COVID-19 vaccine access for countries seeking to protect health workers and populations at risk. WHO urges the manufacturer to participate in the COVAX Facility and contribute to the goal of more equitable vaccine distribution.”

The Sinopharm vaccine is produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, subsidiary of China National Biotech Group (CNBG) and the latter is developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

Sinovac is also produced locally by NIH Pakistan in collaboration with the company under the brand name of PakVac.

Complete list of WHO approved vaccines:

Product  Vaccine type  EUL holder  Country  WHO RecommendationProduct Description  Number of doses:Route of administration:Shelf-life
    BIBP/ Sinopharm  Inactivated COVID-19 Vaccine (Vero Cell)Beijing Institute of Biological Products Co., Ltd. (BIBP) https://www.bjbpi.comChinaEffective date 07 May 2021  Pharmaceutical form: Suspension for injection Presentation: non-auto disable prefilled syringe/vial1Intramuscular24 months at storage temperature:      2-8°C
  SinovacCOVID-19 Vaccine (Vero Cell), Inactivated. Commercial name CoronaVacSinovac Life Sciences Co., Ltd. https://www.sinovac.comChinaEffective date     01 June 2021Pharmaceutical form:   Suspension for injection Presentation:   Vial/non-auto disabled single use prefilled syringe1Intramuscular12 months at storage temperature:      2-8°C
Tozinameran – COVID-19 mRNA vaccineTozinameran – COVD-19 mRNA Vaccine Commercial name COMIRNATY®BioNTech  Manufacturing GmbH https://biontech.de/GermanyEffective date 31 December 2020Pharmaceutical form: Concentrate for dispersion for injection Presentation: Vial6Intramuscular6 months at storage temperature:                – 90°C to – 60°C
  AstraZeneca/SKBio    COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S ([recombinant])AstraZeneca/SK Bioscience Co. Ltd https://www.astrazeneca.com https://www.skbioscience.co.kr/kr/mainRepublic of KoreaEffective date 15 February 2021Pharmaceutical form: Solution for injection Presentation:                Vial10Intramuscular6 months at storage temperature:                2°C to 8°C
Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd – COVID-19 VaccineCOVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S ([recombinant]) Commercial name COVISHIELD™Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd https://www.seruminstitute.com/IndiaEffective date15 February 2021Pharmaceutical form: Solution for injection Presentation: Vial2 and 10Intramuscular6 months at storage temperature:                2°C to 8°C
Janssen–Cilag International NV (Belgium) COVID-19 Vaccine    COVID-19 Vaccine  (Ad26.COV2-S [recombinant])Janssen–Cilag International NV https://www.janssen.com/belgium/BelgiumEffective date 12 March 2021Pharmaceutical Form: Suspension for injection Presentation: vial5Intramuscular24 months at storage temperature25°C to 15°C
AstraZeneca/EU approved sites COVID-19 VaccineCOVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S ([recombinant])AstraZeneca AB https://www.astrazeneca.comSwedenEffective date 15 April 2021Pharmaceutical form: Suspension for injection Presentation: Vial8 and 10Intramuscular6 months at storage temperature:                2°C to 8°C
Moderna COVID-19 mRNA VaccineCOVID-19 mRNA Vaccine (nucleoside modified)Moderna Biotech https://www.modernatx.com/SpainEffective date 30 April 2021Pharmaceutical form: Suspension for injection Presentation: Vial10Intramuscular7 months at storage temperature20±5°C
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The addition of vaccines, other than US and Europe based ones, by WHO not only help to curb the spread of infection but also diminish the myths regarding its potential efficacy and outcomes. On the other hand, it will be a relief for developing countries that are unable to buy other vaccines due to budget issues and difficulty in maintaining storage conditions.

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