BEIJING: In a first, China has had a vaccine pre-qualified for worldwide use by the World Health Organisation, a move that could help fight a deadly fever threatening millions of people, many of them children in developing countries.
The World Health Organisation has pre-qualified vaccine SA 14-14-2 for Japanese encephalitis, the leading cause of viral neurological disease and disability in Asia.
"This is a welcome development, both in the fight to protect children in developing countries and in the future availability of vaccines more generally, as China is now producing vaccines up to WHO standards," South China Morning Post quoted on Saturday WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun as saying.
"There is a huge potential for vaccine manufacture in China and we hope to see more and more Chinese vaccines become WHO prequalified. The whole world will benefit."
Pre-qualification allows UN procurement agencies to buy the vaccine.
More importantly, the decision is an official endorsement of quality for countries that might otherwise suspect its reliability. (QNA)