The World Health Organization on Tuesday approved the addition of a new inactivated coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Kexing Biotechnology Co. to its emergency use list. The WHO said the results of a study on the vaccine’s effectiveness showed that the Kexing vaccine successfully prevented symptomatic infection in 51 percent of those vaccinated.
AFP news agency said this is the second Chinese vaccine to receive the WHO’s emergency use permit, after the new Coronavirus vaccine produced by China National Pharmaceutical Group received the WHO’s emergency use permit last month. WHO Deputy Director-General for Medicines and Health Products Mariangela Simao said that the international community urgently needs more vaccines to address the serious imbalance in vaccination.
The WHO panel recommended that the vaccine be given to adults over 18 years of age in two doses, two to four weeks apart. Results of studies on the vaccine’s effectiveness showed that the vaccine successfully prevented symptomatic infections in 51 percent of those vaccinated and prevented severe infections and hospitalizations in 100 percent of those vaccinated.
The panel said that the small number of people over the age of 60 participating in clinical trials of the vaccine makes it impossible to make a judgment about the vaccine’s effectiveness in this age group. However, data collected from several countries where the vaccine is currently being used, as well as relevant immunological support studies, suggest that the vaccine may be protective in older age groups, and there is no reason to believe that there is a difference in the safety of the vaccine in younger and older age groups, so WHO has not set an upper age limit for vaccination in its recommendations for use of the vaccine.
WHO also recommends that countries that administer the vaccine to older populations conduct follow-up safety and efficacy monitoring to confirm that the vaccine has achieved its intended efficacy and to further assist in refining the efficacy data for the vaccine.