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Monday, August 24, 2020, 14:01
Emergency use of coronavirus vaccines in China authorized
By Zou Shuo
Monday, August 24, 2020, 14:01 By Zou Shuo

China has already authorized emergency use of COVID­-19 vacci­nes developed by domestic compa­nies, a senior health official said on Saturday. 

Zheng Zhongwei, head of China’s COVID-­19 vaccine development task force and an official at the National Health Commission, said the emergency use, which is in accordance with the Chinese vac­cine management law, allows vac­cine candidates to be used for a limited period of time among cer­tain people at high risk of contract­ing the disease, such as medical workers, front­line pandemic control workers and Customs workers. 

Zheng Zhongwei, head of China’s COVID-­19 vaccine development task force, said the emergency use allows vac­cine candidates to be used for a limited period of time among cer­tain people at high risk of contract­ing the disease, such as front­line workers

Applications for the emergency use of COVID­-19 vaccines started on April 4, and after various discussions and evaluations, the central government approved the plan for their use on June 24 and autho­rized emergency use of the vaccines on July 22, he said in an interview with China Central Television. 

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This came after a series of meas­ures were set out to ensure that emergency use of the vaccines is well regulated and monitored, he said. To prevent a possible resurgence of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the autumn and winter, the scope of people allowed to be inoculated will be further increased to ensure that cities can maintain normal functions when a health crisis strikes, he said.

The price of the vaccines will be based on their costs, instead of market demand, Zheng said. “It’s not to say that the companies can­ not make a profit from the vacci­nes, but the fundamental rule is that the profit should be moderate and reasonable and based on the costs of making the vaccines.” 

The production capacity for the vaccines by domestic companies can meet the demand for emergen­cy use and ongoing clinical trials, he added. 

Yang Xiaoming, CEO of China National Biotec Group, a subsidiary of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), said the com­pany has signed agreements with several countries on phase three clinical trials of the inactivated vac­cine developed by the company over the past months. 

“More than 20,000 people have been vaccinated,” Yang said. “Vac­cine safety is well guaranteed and its effectiveness is being closely monitored.” 

READ MORE: Research paper: Promising results in Chinese vaccine trial

The launch ceremony of the phase three clinical trials in Argen­tina of the inactivated COVID­-19 vaccine developed by the company was held in Beijing on Friday after CNBG obtained approval for the process. 

The inactivated vaccine also received approval for phase three clinical trials in the United Arab Emirates on June 23, and in Peru and Morocco on Thursday. 

On June 16, CNBG announced that the phase one and phase two clinical trials of its inactivated vac­ cine had demonstrated good per­formance in safety and effectiveness on vaccinated volunteers. No sub­jects showed serious adverse reac­tions, the company said. 

According to the World Health Organization, by Aug 6, six vaccine candidates have started phase three clinical trials, with three developed by China. 

zoushuo@chinadaily.com.cn 


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