Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – International Relations; Health
- WHO approved the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
- It is the first Chinese jab to receive the WHO’s green light.
- It is the two-dose vaccine, which is already being deployed in dozens of countries around the world.
- The WHO has already given emergency use listing to the vaccines being made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, J&J, and the AstraZeneca jab being produced at sites in India and in South Korea.
How does this vaccine work?
- The Sinopharm vaccine is an inactivated coronavirus vaccine, like Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech India (BBIL) in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology (NIV).
- Inactivated vaccines take the disease-carrying virus (in this case SARS-CoV-2) and kill it using heat, chemicals or radiation.
- WHO notes that these vaccines take longer to make and might need two or three doses to be administered. The flu and polio vaccines use this approach as well.
- Out of the major vaccines being used in the world, Sinopharm, Covaxin and Sinovac (also developed by China) are the only ones that use inactivated virus.
- Others such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are mRNA vaccines.
- Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sputnik and Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose vaccines use a viral vector.