Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

  • IASbaba
  • May 12, 2021
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Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – International Relations; Health 

In news

  • WHO approved the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. 
  • It is the first Chinese jab to receive the WHO’s green light.

Key takeaways 

  • 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.

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