China approves two more domestic coronavirus vaccines

China approves two more domestic coronavirus vaccines
China approves two more domestic coronavirus vaccines

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Health workers wait for a dose of the Sinopharm’s coronavirus disease vaccine in Lima February 9, 2021. — Reuters pic

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BEIJING, Feb 25 — China’s drug authority said today it had approved two more coronavirus vaccines made by domestic companies for public use.

The vaccines made by CanSino Biologics and a unit of Sinopharm were given conditional approvals after they were found protective against Covid-19, said the National Medical Products Administration.

Conditional approvals help to speed emergency drugs to market in cases when clinical trials are yet to meet normal standards but indicate therapies will work.

Sinopharm affiliate Wuhan Institute of Biological Products says its vaccine has an efficacy rate of 72.51 per cent, while the overall efficacy for CanSino’s stands at 65.28 per cent after 28 days.

China has now approved four domestic vaccines, after approving Sinovac’s CoronaVac jab earlier this month, and another Sinopharm product in December.

On Thursday, the Chinese drug agency said it would require both licence holders to “continue carrying out relevant research, complete the conditional requirements, and submit follow-up research results in a timely manner”.

But the published efficacy rates of China’s vaccines remain behind rival jabs by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have 95 per cent and 94 per cent rates respectively.

China has been rushing to develop homegrown jabs, and set a goal to vaccinate 50 million people by mid-February. As of February 9, more than 40 million doses had been administered.

The country is also providing free vaccines to 53 countries, and exporting to more than 20 others who have made purchasing requests. — AFP

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