China Gives Approval to Sinopharm COVID-19 Vaccine


Chinese health regulators gave conditional approval for the general public use of the country’s first coronavirus vaccine which has been developed by a unit of state-backed pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm, officials announced on Thursday.

In a press release, officials from China’s National Medical Products Administration said the authorization was given to a COVID-19 shot developed by China National Biotec Group Co., an affiliate of Sinopharm.

The developer said on Wednesday that the vaccine has been proven to be 79.34 percent effective in preventing people from developing the disease, citing the interim analysis of data from Phase 3 clinical trials of the shot.

National Medical Products Administration Deputy Commissioner Chen Shifei said the developer of the vaccine is still subject to mandatory submission of follow-up data because of its conditional approval. The company is also required to report any adverse effects as it gets commercially available.

China’s National Health Commission Zing Yixin said health authorities are aiming to provide the first round of inoculations for members of the general population who have a higher risk of getting infected with coronavirus, among them will be the elderly and those individuals that have pre-existing symptoms of infection.

The country aims to vaccinate 50 million people against the virus before the Lunar New Year holiday in February.

Zeng also said the Chinese government is targeting to provide free COVID-19 shots to Chinese citizens.

“Vaccines are by their nature a public good and the price will vary according to the scale of usage,” Zeng said in the press briefing. “But the broader premise is that it will be offered for free to all the population.”

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