Hundreds of Thousands Of People In China Should Have Been Vaccinated At Present
China in recent months has been injecting hundreds of thousands of people with three preliminary coronavirus vaccines that are being tested for safety and efficacy. While the world awaits a proven drug to fight the pandemic, at least three vaccine candidates have been given to front-line medical professionals, staff of state-owned companies, and government officials since July under an emergency use program approved by Beijing.
China National Biotec Group (CNBG), a subsidiary of state-owned Sinopharm, has administered two experimental vaccine candidates to around 350,000 people outside its clinical trials, CNBG chairman Yang Xiaoming said recently. The company also donated 200,000 doses of one of the candidate vaccines that is still undergoing clinical trials in Wuhan, where the pandemic was first reported.
Another drugmaker, Sinovac Biotech, has injected 90% of its employees and their family members, or about 3,000 people, Yin Weidong, the company’s CEO, said this month.
“At present, tens of thousands of people in Beijing should have been vaccinated with Sinovac’s vaccine,” Yin told Chinese state media. Separately, Beijing also gave approval in June for members of the armed forces to receive an experimental vaccine developed by CanSino Biologics, a biopharmaceutical company that is backed by the military.
Under China’s law, vaccines developed for major public health emergencies can be deployed for urgent use if the National Medical Products Administration considers that the benefits of the treatment outweigh the risks.