What We Know About China’s Coronavirus Vaccines

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Authorities on Thursday approved a vaccine being developed by Sinopharm’s Beijing subsidiary

China led the global coronavirus vaccine development race with most of the candidates in late-stage trials earlier in the year. The first approval of a homemade shot to the general public came on Thursday, but without detailed data on its effectiveness.

Below is what is China’s vaccine development, efficacy data, and approval schedule.

Which are the most advanced?

Five vaccines from Sinovac Biotech, China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), CanSinoBIO, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences are in late-stage clinical trials. None of them published detailed data on effectiveness.

Authorities on Thursday approved a vaccine being developed by Sinopharm’s Beijing subsidiary, a day after the developer said the interim analysis of its Phase 3 study showed 79.34% efficacy, without giving any details.

The efficacy score is below the 86% rate announced by the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 9 for the same vaccine, based on preliminary data.

A Sinopharm executive said Thursday detailed data would be released later without specifying a specific timetable.

Sinovac’s candidate has also shown varying levels of effectiveness. Data from a late-stage study of CoronaVac in Turkey showed a 91.25% success rate, while researchers in Brazil said the effectiveness was between 50% and 90%.

Brazil expects to release CoronaVac efficacy data by January 7th after three delays.

CanSinoBIO plans to present clinical trial results for its vaccine to authorities in Mexico next week, a senior Mexican health official said.

How many people were vaccinated?

While China has been slower than several other countries in approving COVID-19 vaccines, it has been vaccinating its citizens with three different late-stage shots for months.

China launched an emergency program in July targeting key workers and other people at high risk of infection and has delivered more than 4.5 million doses of both Sinopharm and Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccines.

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It ramped up the program last month in anticipation of major winter transmission risks.

The South China Morning Post reported that China would vaccinate up to 50 million people before the New Year holiday in mid-February.

China also approved a CanSinoBIO vaccine for military use, and the vaccine was given to around 40,000 to 50,000 people, a CanSinoBIO manager said on Nov. 28.

WHAT TECHNOLOGY IS USED?

Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are based on traditional technology that uses inactivated or dead virus that cannot replicate in human cells to trigger an immune response.

The overall incidence rate of side effects from these COVID-19 vaccinations is similar to other inactivated vaccines, and the incidence rate of relatively serious side effects such as allergies is around two in a million, National Health Authority official Zeng Yixin said Thursday.

WHO BUYS CHINA’S VACCINES?

The United Arab Emirates became the first country to bring a Chinese vaccine to the public this month.

Pakistan announced a purchase agreement for 1.2 million doses with Sinopharm on Thursday.

Sinovac’s CoronaVac shot was signed by Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey, Chile and Singapore. The company is also in supply talks with Malaysia and the Philippines.

CanSinoBIO has a supply contract with Mexico.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)

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