China’s plans to commence administering its experimental coronavirus vaccines to people, alongside clinical trials, has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation.
Zheng Zhongwei, Chinese Health Commission official revealed this during a news conference on Friday, September 25, 2020.
According to Zheng, China had launched it’s emergency programme in July after interfacing with the WHO in the closing quarters of June. As a matter fact, hundreds of thousands essential workers and other limited groups of people considered at high risk of infection have been given the vaccine. However, its efficacy and safety had not been fully established. This is given the fact that the Phase 3 clinical trials have not yet been completed.
Speaking at the news conference, Zheng said: “At End-June, China’s State Council approved a plan of COVID-19 vaccine emergency use program. After the approval, on June 29, we made a communication with the relevant representatives of the WHO Office in China, and obtained support and understanding from WHO.’’
Based on a report from Nairametrics, Chinese Pharmaceutical firms have been quite aggressive about the development of a Covid-19 vaccine with the likes of Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm publicly displaying their vaccine candidate for the first time at a trade fair in Beijing earlier this month.
Furthermore, organisations such as the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the US-listed Sinovac Biotech SVA.O, are developing the three vaccines under the state’s emergency use program while the fourth COVID-19 vaccine that is being developed by CanSino Biologics 6185 HK, was approved for use by the Chinese military in June.
Soumya Swaminathan, the WHO chief scientist who described it as a temporary solution, stated earlier this month in Geneva that the national regulatory authorities could approve the use of medical products within their own jurisdictions in the current emergency situation.
He explicated that the long-term solution in the successful development of a Covid-19 vaccine, lay in completion of Phase 3 trials, this is as China has not publicly released full details of its emergency use programme.
China’s annual production capacity of the COVID-19 vaccine according to Zheng will expectedly reach 610 million doses by end-2020 and 1 billion doses by 2021. In terms of the price, it will also be affordable for the general public.