The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved a Covid-19 vaccine from China's state-owned pharmaceutical company, Sinopharm, for emergency use, laying a path for the jab to be used in poorer nations via the Covax scheme. The vaccine, one of two main Chinese shots that collectively have already been given to hundreds of millions of people in China and abroad, is the first Covid-19 jab developed by a non-Western country to win the WHO’s backing. It is also the first time the WHO has given emergency use approval to any Chinese vaccine for any infectious disease. A WHO emergency listing is a signal to national regulators on a product’s safety and efficacy, and would allow the shot to be included in Covax, the global programme to provide vaccines mainly for poor countries, which global health experts described as a “game changer”. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO chief, told a press conference: “This afternoon, WHO gave [an] emergency use listing to Sinopharm Beijing’s Covid-19 vaccine, making it the sixth vaccine to receive WHO validation for safety, efficacy and quality. “This expands the list of Covid-19 vaccines that Covax can buy, and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine.” Dr Tedros added that the WHO’s Sage committee of experts had reviewed the data and recommended adults over 18 have the jab with a two dose schedule. The team said there was limited evidence on the jab for the over-60s, but added that there was no reason to expect it to perform differently in this age group.