GAVI in talks with China's Sinovax to expand COVAX supply - spokesperson

To expand the COVAX dose-sharing portfolio available to poor countries

Reuters June 02, 2021
A nurse prepares to administer the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine under the COVAX scheme against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at the Eka Kotebe General Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 13, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS


The GAVI vaccine alliance is in talks with Chinese drugmaker Sinovac Biotch to expand the COVAX dose-sharing portfolio available to poor countries following the World Health Organization’s approval of its COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, a GAVI spokesperson said.

“Gavi, on behalf of the COVAX Facility, is in dialogue with several manufacturers, including Sinovac, to expand and diversify the portfolio further and secure access to additional doses for Facility participants,” she said on Wednesday.4

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday it has approved a Covid-19 vaccine made by drugmaker Sinovac Biotech for emergency use listing, paving the way for a second Chinese shot to be used in poor countries.

A WHO emergency listing is a signal to national regulators on a product's safety and efficacy. It will also allow the shot to be included in COVAX, the global programme to provide vaccines mainly for poor countries, which faces major supply problems due to an Indian export suspension.

The independent panel of experts said in a statement it recommended Sinovac's vaccine for adults over 18, with a second dose 2-4 weeks later. There was no upper age limit as data suggested it is likely to have a protective effect in older people.

The WHO's technical advisory group, which began meeting on May 5, took the decision after reviewing the latest clinical data on the Sinovac vaccine's safety and efficacy as well as the company's manufacturing practices.