Days after joining the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX alliance for the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world, China has stepped up the use of its coronavirus vaccines for urgent use in three more cities.
Three more cities in east China’s Zhejiang Province are stepping up efforts to offer COVID-19 vaccines for urgent use, with priority groups in need before they can be made available to the public, official media reports said.
The cities of Yiwu, Ningbo and Shaoxing are targeting key groups in urgent need of vaccinations against COVID-19 after Jiaxing City. The state-run Global Times quoted another daily newspaper, The Paper, on Saturday.
Earlier on Thursday, the health authorities in Jiaxing announced that the city had administered inactivated COVID-19 vaccines to high-risk groups and would gradually offer them to ordinary citizens for urgent use.
According to the report, emergency vaccinations have officially started in Yiwu, an internationally renowned manufacturing center.
On Friday afternoon, about 20 people visited the community health center to get vaccinations against COVID-19 within an hour.
Most recipients are expected to go overseas or plan to go overseas in the near future, The Paper reported.
Yiwu health officials said the COVID-19 shots had arrived in the local medical system and were limited to a small segment of the population in need of emergency vaccination, including frontline medical staff, staff securing the city’s basic operation and officials who have favourited The Global Times report states that they must travel to high-risk countries and regions as part of official duties.
Yiwu also has no plans to make the vaccine available to the public at this point, but may consider offering the vaccine to the public if there is sufficient supply when the vaccine is officially on the market, it said.
China surprisingly joined the WHO’s COVAX alliance on October 9, amid COVID-19 speculation that it will ship its vaccines to developing countries to improve its pandemic-damaged image since it emerged in Wuhan last December is to distribute fairly.
All 11 vaccines in China are in various stages of testing and awaiting final approval.
COVAX is a global initiative that aims to work with vaccine manufacturers to give countries around the world fair access to safe and effective vaccines once they are licensed and approved.
China has completed final phase trials of Chinese-made COVID-19 experimental vaccines in more than a dozen countries and has even begun vaccinating thousands of rescue workers.
Yang Sheng, deputy director of the National Medical Products Administration’s drug registration bureau, previously said that four COVID-19 vaccines developed in China have entered the final phase of human studies overseas after approval by foreign authorities.
China has focused on developing five types of vaccines and at least one clinical study is being conducted for each method.
A total of 11 vaccine candidates are in various test phases, Yang has already been quoted by the official media.
Zheng Zhongwei, head of China’s Vaccine Development Task Force, said China’s annual COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity is projected to reach 610 million doses this year and one billion doses by 2021.
According to the WHO, nine vaccine candidates are currently being examined for admission to the COVAX facility.
These include two from China, two from the USA, one from the Republic of Korea, one from Great Britain and Northern Ireland and a global partnership with several manufacturers.
Two of them are in Phase I trials, two are technology transfers, and the rest are in the discovery phase.
The coronavirus has so far claimed 4,634 deaths with 85,672 confirmed infections in China.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)