The World Health Organization (WHO) has granted emergency approval for the Covid vaccine made by Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm.

Iran PressEurope: The World Health Organization has added a Sinopharm vaccine to its list of approved Covid-19 jabs, boosting the credentials of the China-made dose amid doubts over its efficacy.

It is the first vaccine developed by a non-Western country to get WHO backing.

The vaccine has already been given to millions of people in China and elsewhere.

The WHO had previously only approved the vaccines made by Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna.

“This afternoon, WHO gave emergency use listing to Sinopharm Beijing’s Covid-19 vaccine,” the WHO director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.

“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.” The Covax program aims to provide equitable access to doses around the world and particularly in lower-income countries.

The WHO said the addition of the vaccine had "the potential to rapidly accelerate Covid-19 vaccine access for countries seeking to protect health workers and populations at risk".