South Africa welcomes WHO’s approval of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

Cyril Ramaphosa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed the World Health Organization (WHO)’s approval of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech for emergency use.

“As we accelerate the rollout of vaccines, we continue to engage various manufacturers to ensure a reliable and diverse supply of vaccines. We therefore welcome the news that the World Health Organization has validated the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use,” Ramaphosa told the National Assembly on Wednesday.

He called the approval “a crucial step,” saying it will pave the way for South African health product regulators to consider purchasing the Sinovac vaccine, according to a release from the presidency.

He hopes the approval will mean more vaccines for his population and those in poorer countries.

“No country in the world has been spared the impacts of the coronavirus, demonstrating how inter-connected and inter-dependent we are,” he said, adding that no country can hope to overcome the pandemic alone.

On Tuesday, the Sinovac vaccine became the second one from China included in the WHO Emergency Use Listing, following the Sinopharm vaccine, which was validated last month.

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