China was leading the global race to develop coronavirus vaccines with the most candidates when trials ended earlier in the year and its first approval of a homemade vaccine for the general public arrived on Thursday, but without detailed efficacy data.
Here’s what we know about vaccine development in China, efficacy data, and approval timeline.
WHAT ARE THE MOST ADVANCED?
Five vaccines from Sinovac Biotech, the Chinese national pharmaceutical group (Sinopharm), CanSinoBIO and the Chinese Academy of Sciences are in advanced clinical trials. None of them have published detailed efficacy data.
Authorities on Thursday approved a vaccine developed by Sinopharm’s Beijing subsidiary, a day after the developer said interim analysis of its Phase 3 trial showed 79.34% efficacy, without providing details.
The efficacy reading is lower than the 86% rate for the same vaccine announced by the United Arab Emirates on December 9, based on preliminary data.
A Sinopharm executive said on Thursday that detailed data would be released later without giving a specific timeline.
The Sinovac candidate also showed varying effectiveness readings. Data from an advanced trial of its CoronaVac injection in Turkey showed a success rate of 91.25%, while Brazilian researchers said its effectiveness was between 50% and 90%.
Brazil plans to release efficacy data for CoronaVac by January 7 after three delays.
CanSinoBIO plans to submit clinical trial results for its vaccine to Mexican officials next week, a senior Mexican health official said.
HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INOCULATED?
While China has been slower than several other countries to approve COVID-19 vaccines, it has been inoculating its citizens for months with three different injections under late testing.
China launched an emergency use program in July for essential workers and others at high risk of infection, and administered more than 4.5 million doses of both Sinopharm and Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccines. .
It has ramped up the program over the past month in anticipation of greater transmission risks during the winter.
The South China Morning Post newspaper reported that China will vaccinate up to 50 million people before the Lunar New Year holiday in mid-February.
China has also approved a CanSinoBIO vaccine for military use and the vaccine has been administered to around 40,000 to 50,000 people, a CanSinoBIO executive said on November 28.
WHAT TECHNOLOGY IS USED?
Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are based on traditional technology that uses inactivated or dead viruses, which cannot replicate in human cells, to trigger an immune response.
The overall rate of occurrence of side effects from these COVID-19 injections is similar to that of other inactivated vaccines, and the rate of occurrence of relatively serious side effects such as allergy is approximately two in one. million, National Health Administration official Zeng Yixin said Thursday. .
WHO PURCHASES CHINA VACCINES?
The United Arab Emirates became the first country to roll out a Chinese vaccine to the public this month.
Pakistan announced on Thursday a 1.2 million dose purchase agreement with Sinopharm.
Sinovac’s CoronaVac shot has been signed by Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey, Chile and Singapore. The company is also in procurement talks with Malaysia and the Philippines.
CanSinoBIO has entered into a supply agreement with Mexico.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)