China OKs 1st homegrown vaccine said to be 79.3% effective
Chinese health regulators said Thursday that they have given conditional approval to a coronavirus vaccine developed by state-owned Sinopharm.
The two-dose vaccine is the first approved for general use in China. The go-ahead comes as the country has begun to vaccinate 50 million people before the Lunar New Year holiday in February.
Conditional approval means that research is still ongoing, the company will be required to submit follow-up data as well as reports of any adverse effects after the vaccine is sold on the market, Chen Shifei, the deputy commissioner of the National Medical Products Administration, told a news conference.
The company “must continuously update the vaccine’s instructions, labels and report to the agency,” Shifei said.
The vaccine was developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, a subsidiary of state-owned conglomerate Sinopharm. The company announced Wednesday that preliminary data from last-stage trials had shown it to be 79.3% effective.
It is an inactive vaccine, which means the virus was grown in a lab and then killed. The germ is then injected into the body to generate an immune response.
Final proof of its effectiveness will depend on publication of more data.
Sinopharm is one of at least five Chinese developers that are in a global race to create vaccines for the disease that has killed more than 1.8 million people.
In addition to the emergency vaccinations already underway, China plans to start vaccinating high-risk population, such as seniors as well as people with existing chronic illnesses. Officials did not say what percentage of the population they will vaccinate in China.
“This is different in every country but the general thinking is that it has to reach 60% to protect the entire population,” said Zeng Yixin, vice minister of the National Health Commission…….read more
Source: AP News