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China approves its first anti-Covid vaccine “under conditions”



China announced Thursday, December 31, that it had approved ” under conditions “ the marketing of a first anti-Covid vaccine. Produced by Sinopharm, together with the Beijing Institute of Biologics, it is over 79% effective, according to the pharmaceutical group.

Based on these results, “The National Administration of Medical Products approved on December 30 (…) the registration request for Sinopharm’s inactivated vaccine (…) conditionally”, announced at a press conference a senior official of this organization, Chen Shifei.

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This type of conditional marketing allows the vaccine to be offered to the general public when the analyzes of clinical trials have not yet been completed but indicate that the product is effective.

China wants to make Chinese vaccines “A global public good”

At the same press conference, the Deputy Minister of Health, Zeng Yixin, clarified that the authorization would make it possible to generalize the vaccination of groups at risk, namely the elderly and people suffering from underlying diseases. “The third step will be to vaccinate the entire population”, he said.

According to him, a vaccination “From 60% to 70%” of the 1.4 billion Chinese will be needed to ensure “The protection of the whole population”. The Deputy Minister pledged that the vaccine will be “Provided free to all”.

When questioned, officials did not provide any figures regarding Chinese production capacity, simply indicating that vaccination would be optional.

China, where the coronavirus appeared at the end of 2019, is trying to be at the global forefront of developing a vaccine. At the cost of huge financial means, it has currently 14 tested on humans, including five in the final phase of testing (phase 3), including the one that has just been approved.

The Asian giant has promised to make Chinese vaccines “A global public good” offered to ” a reasonable price “ see ” Free “. The country has already started shipping to some nations like Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.

More than a million and a half people already vaccinated

In China, the vice-minister of health clarified that 3 million vaccinations had been carried out for people at risk since December 15, without specifying which vaccines had been used. Only a few allergic reactions, without seriousness, have been observed and the authorities consider that the vaccines can be generalized, he said.

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Beijing, which has largely eradicated the epidemic on its territory, had carried out emergency vaccinations as of this summer, in particular with the medical staff or the students and diplomats having to go abroad. More than a million and a half people had already been vaccinated.

“These 3 million, plus the 1.5 million, prove that our vaccines are safe”, assured Zeng Yixin. However, Sinopharm’s vaccine efficacy rate is lower than those claimed by its competitors Pfizer / BioNTech (95%) and Moderna (94.1%).

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