Nearly 1 million Chinese people vaccinated for COVID-19
Nearly 1 million Chinese people vaccinated for COVID-19. Chinese health institutions have vaccinated nearly 1 million Chinese with the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China National Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd. (SINOPHARM Group), but the state-owned company has not yet provided reliable clinical evidence on the effectiveness of the vaccine.
After the Chinese government approved the emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine in July this year, people including Chinese staff abroad, government officials and students studying abroad were vaccinated with this vaccine from Sinopharm. In a statement, Sinopharm Group quoted Chairman Liu Jingzhen as saying that only a few individuals had mild symptoms and had not received a report of serious adverse reactions.
SINOPHARM said in a statement dated Wednesday that the company is leading the world in all aspects of vaccine development. But the company did not provide evidence of the effectiveness of its vaccine in ongoing international clinical trials.
As there are few infections in China, Chinese companies have to test the effectiveness of vaccines overseas. Western pharmaceutical companies are also recruiting subjects internationally.
Sinopharm previously stated that informal observations of people who did not participate in clinical trials proved that its vaccine is effective. Many people are vaccinated because they are going overseas.
The company said on Wednesday that construction personnel, diplomats and students from China to more than 150 countries in the world have not had a single case of infection after the vaccine was administered.
Sinopharm and other Chinese vaccine manufacturers currently have four vaccines in the late stage of clinical trials, participating in the global vaccine development competition.
Turkey announced on Thursday that it plans to order 10 to 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac Biotech Ltd., a private Chinese company. Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told the media that the contract will be signed later this week.
In September, the UAE became the first country outside China to approve the emergency use of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The Indonesian government is also considering approval of the Sinopharm vaccine and other Chinese vaccine candidates. The Brazilian state of Sao Paulo is planning to buy vaccines from Coxing Holdings, although Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tried to stop it.
In recent months, some local governments in China have provided residents with opportunities for vaccination. In Yiwu, a major export town in the eastern province of Zhejiang, a community hospital employee told The Wall Street Journal that about 100 people line up to get the vaccine from Kexing Holdings every day. The vaccine is divided into two doses, and each dose costs 200 yuan (about 30 US dollars).
Yanzhong Huang, a senior global health researcher at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, said the vaccine distribution process appears to be fragmented, helping more people get vaccinated. He said that local government officials have a strong motivation to ensure that there are no local infections.
In addition, according to Chinese state media reports, the Chinese private company Anhui Zhifei Biopharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is planning to test its vaccine in Uzbekistan. If successful, it will be the fifth Chinese vaccine candidate to enter late-stage clinical trials. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment.