China approves 2 more domestic coronavirus vaccines

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 25 2021 11:38 PM

A towing tractor truck pulls a container transporting the active ingredient for 2 million doses of China's CanSino COVID-19 vaccine at the Benito Juarez International airport in Mexico City, February 11, 2021. Mexico's Foreign Minister/handout via Reuters

China's drug authority said Thursday it had approved two more coronavirus vaccines made by domestic companies for public use.

The vaccines made by CanSino Biologics and a unit of Sinopharm were given conditional approvals after they were found protective against COVID-19, said the National Medical Products Administration.

Conditional approvals help to speed emergency drugs to market in cases when clinical trials are yet to meet normal standards but indicate therapies will work.

Sinopharm affiliate Wuhan Institute Of Biological Products says its vaccine has an efficacy rate of 72.51 percent, while the overall efficacy for CanSino's stands at 65.28 percent after 28 days.

China has now approved four domestic vaccines, after approving Sinovac's CoronaVac jab earlier this month, and another Sinopharm product in December.

On Thursday, the Chinese drug agency said it would require both licence holders to "continue carrying out relevant research, complete the conditional requirements, and submit follow-up research results in a timely manner".

But the published efficacy rates of China's vaccines remain behind rival jabs by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have 95 percent and 94 percent rates respectively.

China has been rushing to develop homegrown jabs, and set a goal to vaccinate 50 million people by mid-February. As of February 9, more than 40 million doses had been administered.

The country is also providing free vaccines to 53 countries, and exporting to more than 20 others who have made purchasing requests.

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