China gives conditional approval for Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine

Pablo Tucker
December 31, 2020

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"The Cabinet Committee has chose to initially purchase 1.2 million doses of the vaccine from the Chinese company Sinopharm, which will be provided free of cost to frontline workers in the first quarter of 2021", Pakistani Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Twitter.

Despite the fact that China's vaccines haven't yet received regulatory approval for widespread use, doses have already been given to hundreds of thousands of people in China under an emergency-use program in place since mid-year.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

Pakistan has made a decision to purchase 1.2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from Chinese manufacturer Sinopharm, Federal Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry confirmed on Thursday. Officials did not say what percentage of the population they will vaccinate in China.

There have been fragmentary releases of efficacy data for Chinese vaccine makers' COVID-19 candidates, which are being considered by many developing countries for mass inoculation campaigns.

"At least with the Russian vaccines we were told the number of cases and the basis of evidence for why their vaccine was effective", said Mulholland, who has been involved in the oversight of many vaccine trials, including ones for a COVID-19 vaccine.

By November, almost 1 million people had received a Sinopharm vaccine, according to the company's chairman, though he didn't specify which of the company's two vaccines they had received.

However, the United Arab Emirates, which also trialled the vaccine, said the vaccine was 86% effective. It has since approved the vaccine for public use.

Meeting the WHO qualification could go some way toward assuring the rest of the world about the quality and efficacy of Chinese vaccines, which already face a reputation problem back home.

Officials plan to vaccinate 50 million people in the country by the middle of next month, before the Lunar Near Year holiday when millions crisscross the country.

China, whose President Xi Jinping has pledged to make its vaccines a global public good, has won several large supply deals with countries including Indonesia and Brazil - the most populous countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America respectively.

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