Nearly a million people inoculated with Chinese Covid-19 vaccine: firm

Andrew Cummings
November 22, 2020

As China rushes to keep up with the global race to find a coronavirus vaccine, a state-owned drugmaker is reporting promising results for a candidate after administering doses to almost a million people in the country.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing on Wednesday that five Chinese vaccine candidates are under clinical trials in countries, including the UAE, Brazil, Pakistan and Peru, and phase one and phase two clinical trials of some other vaccines are accelerated.

"In emergency use, we now have used it on almost a million people".

China has been giving experimental Covid-19 vaccines to people including state employees, worldwide students and essential workers heading overseas since July.

Competition has intensified among pharmaceutical companies racing to develop a Covid-19 shot, with two vaccines - one by USA company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and another by U.S. firm Moderna - publishing large-scale trial data this month that showed their jabs were around 95 percent effective against Covid-19. All three vaccines have been used for China's emergency program. This vaccine has been given to 1 million people, but has not shown any serious side effects.

The vaccine comprises a modified chimpanzee adenovirus - a weakened version of a common cold virus.

The annual production capacity for the Covid-19 vaccine will top 300 million doses, according to the company.

The phase 2 trial did not look at how well the vaccine protected volunteers from infection.

Infectious disease specialists answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines including if results from clinical trials will hold up in the real world.

A COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing plant of the company was put into operation in September.

Since the announcement by the American company Pfizer to make 95 percent effective corona vaccine, many countries have claimed to make effective vaccine.

Many who have been inoculated in China are not formal participants in drugmakers' trials and are said to have done so voluntarily.

Both low and standard doses of the vaccine triggered responses in both parts of the immune system.

While doses of the vaccine candidates are forecast to be made before the end of 2020 the firms each said global rollouts are likely to take place next year.

Sinopharm didn't respond to Newsweek's request for comment in time for publication.

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