The World Health Organization has cleared a Covid-19 vaccine made by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac for emergency use, opening the way for it to be included in Covax, the sputtering worldwide initiative that low-income countries rely on for the vaccine.

The decision was announced Tuesday, about a month after the agency authorized another Chinese vaccine, made by Sinopharm, for emergency use.

There is dire need for vaccines in countries and regions where the virus is surging, like India, and in much of Southeast Asia and South America. Adding another vaccine to the distribution calculus could help meet that demand.

The struggles of Covax are one factor among many in the growing gap in vaccination coverage between the world’s rich and poor. Covax has been underfunded and behind schedule even before it faced its most significant blow this spring when India, facing a devastating coronavirus crisis, halted vaccine exports.

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