Kathmandu: Nepal government granted emergency use approval to a Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd. (BIBP) in China under Sinopharm.
Nepal has already granted approval for AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine on January 15.
Department of Drug Administration of Nepal on Wednesday decided to issue a conditional permission for emergency use authorisation to the vaccine, according to the administration press statement.
By providing the emergency use authorisation, the department paves the way to bring Shinopharm’s vaccine in Nepal. China has decided to provide 500,000 doses of BBIBP-CorV vaccine, developed by Sinopharm, under grant assistance.
However, Nepal has received one million doses of Covid vaccine from India on third week of January while decided to procure another two million vaccine from Serum Institute of India on a subsidy rate.
Sinopharm had applied for emergency use authorisation for its vaccine on January 13 with the department.
Of the three applications—two from India and one from China’s Shinopharm—the department on January 15 had given emergency use authorisation to only Covishield vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which is produced in India by the Serum Institute of India. The department had demanded necessary documents with Sinopharm and Bharat Biotech.
On 30 December 2020, Sinopharm announced the vaccine’s efficacy was 79.34 per cent, which was lower than the 86 per cent announced by the United Arab Emirates on December 9. The UAE had based its results on an interim analysis of Phase III trials conducted from July.