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WHO decision challenges West to recognize Chinese vaccines


The World Health Organization says any COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use must be recognized by countries as they open their borders to inoculated travelers

In addition to vaccines by Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna Inc., AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, the WHO has also approved two Chinese jabs made by Sinovac and Sinopharm.

In its aim to restore travel across Europe, the European Union said in May that it would only recognize people as vaccinated if they had received shots licensed by the European Medicines Agency – although this would vary from country to country. that they want to let travelers who have received other vaccines, including Russia’s Sputnik V. EU drug regulators are currently considering licensing China’s Sinovac vaccine, but there is no time frame on the decision.

“Any measure that allows only those protected by a subset of WHO-approved vaccines to benefit from the reopening of travel … the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines,” a WHO statement said on Thursday Gone. “This will negatively affect the growth of the economies that are already suffering the most.”

The WHO said such moves were “undermining confidence in life-saving vaccines that have already been shown to be safe and effective.” In its review of the two Chinese vaccines, the UN health agency said that both were found to significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization and death.

The two Chinese shots are “inactivated” vaccines, made from killed coronaviruses, while the Western-made shots are made with newer techniques that instead target the “spike” proteins that coat the surface of the coronavirus.

Although Western countries have largely relied on vaccines made in the US and Europe, such as Pfizer-BioNtech and AstraZeneca, many developing countries have used Chinese-made shots.

Earlier this year, the head of China’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged that the effectiveness of its home shots was low. Several countries using millions of doses of the two Chinese shots, including Seychelles and Bahrain, have seen a COVID-19 surge even with relatively high levels of vaccination.

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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