World Health Organization allows China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

The vaccine Sinopharm is the first Chinese-made vaccine to be approved by the WHO.
The World Health Organization in Geneva

The World Health Organization on Friday authorized China's COVID-19 Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use.

The United Nations-affiliated group said the vaccine is a safe and reliable way to fight the virus, according to The New York Times.

"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," Dr. Mariângela Simão, a WHO official, said in a statement.

Sinopharm is the first Chinese vaccine to be classified as safe and effective by the WHO.

COVAX, the WHO's initiative to develop and distribute coronavirus vaccines, will now use Sinopharm to provide underdeveloped and poorer nations with more vaccines.

India this week reached a record-high virus. 

"This expands the list of [COVID-19] vaccines that COVAX can buy," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday, according to Axios. "and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine."

The WHO will also decide to give emergency approval for another Chinese-made vaccine made by the company Sinovac sometime next week.