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China’s Covid-19 Vaccine Has Just Been Filed for Official Approval

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China National Pharmaceutical Group, also known as Sinopharm, has just filed for approval to release its own Covid-19 vaccine to the public.

Its subsidiary China National Biotech Group has developed two separate vaccines, and it’s still unclear whether one vaccine or both are being included in the filing. Although both vaccines have been tested for safety and efficacy in 10 countries across South America and the Middle East, test results have not been made publicly available.

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This announcement comes just days after American pharmaceutical giants Moderna and Pfizer announced that their vaccine trials had returned results with over 90 percent efficacies, and Pfizer subsequently applied to the US Food and Drug Administration for “emergency use” authorization of its vaccine. Russia remains the only country to date with a Covid-19 vaccine approved for widespread use.

In July, the Chinese National Medical Products Administration authorized the two Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine candidates for emergency use, one of which was the first in the world to enter the final stage of trials.

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Since then, nearly one million “high risk” people have been vaccinated — a group that includes construction workers, diplomats, and students. In November, Sinopharm Chairman Liu Jing Zhen stated publicly that there have been no cases of serious adverse reactions to the vaccine.

Though early stage trials of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines were promising, the company has yet to submit any Phase 3 trial results, which may ultimately determine if Sinopharm is to be a frontline player in the global vaccine rollout.

Lakshmi Iyengar
    Lakshmi Iyengar is a Yenching Scholar studying health, economics, and modern China. Before moving to Beijing, she majored in Biomedical Engineering at Yale. Follow her on twitter @vlakshmiiyengar for insights on China and life