The approval of Sinovac Biotech vaccines for emergency use by the World Health Organization is a shot in the arm for the global battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only does it enhance local and international confidence in the Chinese-made jabs, but also helps address the inequality poorer countries face when trying to access vaccine stocks. With no fewer than 430 millions doses of CoronaVac having been administered across the globe so far, the decision was just a matter of time. The fact that the jabs have been in use in dozens of countries even without the WHO’s blessing underlines their importance. But the global health watchdog has given the go-ahead not out of political expediency, but scientific assessment. An expert panel began its review in early May, taking into account clinical data and manufacturing practices. Recognition means the Chinese jabs have met international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing, and paves the way for them to be distributed under the Covax Facility, a global programme that seeks fair access to inoculations. This is the second Chinese-developed vaccine to have secured a WHO listing, along with state-backed Sinopharm. Others that have been recognised include Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. Notwithstanding concerns over its efficacy – ranging from 51 per cent to 84 per cent in previous trials – Sinovac requires less stringent storage conditions, making it suitable for low-income countries. Sinovac vaccines create ‘immunity barrier’ in Brazilian town: study The WHO’s endorsement may never change the minds of anti-vaxxers and those critical of China, but the experience of the Brazilian town of Serrana, outside Sao Paulo, speaks for itself. There were reportedly 80 per cent and 86 per cent falls in symptomatic cases and hospitalisations respectively, after more than 90 per cent of adults were fully inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine. This should come as good news for those many Hongkongers who may be wary of the Chinese jab, although the local uptake of Sinovac and BioNTech doses has surged recently. The Covid-19 battle hinges on our efforts in immunising as many people as possible across the globe. The benefits of inoculation outweigh the risks.