In this Sept 24, 2020 file photo, a laboratory technician inspects syringes of a COVID-19 vaccine produced by Sinovac Biotech Ltd at its factory in Beijing. (NG HAN GUAN / AP)
Li Tao, deputy head of the National Healthcare Security Administration, said the public will get free COVID-19 vaccinations on a voluntary basis when the mass vaccinations start. The expenses for the vaccination will be borne by the basic medical insurance fund and government, she said.
The inactivated COVID-19 vaccine, developed by State-owned Sinopharm, which won conditional market approval, is safe and has an efficacy of 79 percent
"Providing COVID-19 vaccinations to the public free of charge will help establish an immunization barrier quickly to maintain healthy economic and social development," Li said.
China granted conditional market approval for its first COVID-19 vaccine on Dec 30, but vaccines in the last stage of clinical trials have been available for emergency use in the country since June. By the end of December, 14 COVID-19 vaccines developed by China were under clinical trials, including five in phase 3, the final trial before a vaccine is approved for market.
The inactivated COVID-19 vaccine, developed by State-owned Sinopharm, which won conditional market approval, is safe and has an efficacy of 79 percent, the company said. It had already gained approval for general use in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain before winning conditional market approval from China's top drug regulator.
Zeng said that based on the latest research, the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in China will not be affected by the new variant of the virus discovered in the United Kingdom.
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