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China approves its first vaccine against COVID-19. It says it is 79.3% effective

2020-12-31T09:10:34.228Z

The authorities of the Asian country gave little information about this vaccine, one of at least five in development there. Meanwhile, it has already launched a campaign to vaccinate 50 million people before the Lunar New Year in February.



By The Associated Press

Chinese health authorities said Thursday that they have given conditional authorization to a coronavirus vaccine developed by the state laboratory Sinopharm.

It is the first vaccine approved for general use in China.

The authorization was issued at a time when the country is already carrying out a

vaccination campaign of 50 million people

before the important celebration of the Lunar New Year in February.

Chen Shifei, deputy commissioner of the China National Medical Products Administration, told a news conference on Thursday that the decision to approve the vaccine was made the day before.

The vaccine was developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, a subsidiary of the state conglomerate Sinopharm. 

[China prepares a large deployment of vaccines against COVID-19]

The company announced Wednesday that, according to preliminary information from the last stage of testing, the vaccine is 79.3% effective.

Definitive proof of its effectiveness

will depend on more data being published

.

Sinopharm is one of at least five Chinese developers competing globally to create vaccines against the disease that has killed

more than 1.8 million people around the world

.

What is known about the new variant of the coronavirus?

This expert answers

Dec. 30, 202002: 55

The conditional authorization means that investigations continue, and that authorities can request more information about the safety and effectiveness for certain populations with different health profiles, said Tao Lina, a former government immunologist.

The term generally means that a drug or product in question

might be restricted to certain age groups

, he noted.

Authorities declined to mention a particular price

.

"Of course it will be at the limit of what a person can pay," said Zheng Zhongwei, an official with the National Health Commission.

The Beijing Institute's vaccine is already being manufactured on a large scale, although the authorities did not respond to questions about current production capacity.

[UK approves AstraZeneca and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine]

"Production capacity is a dynamic and continuous process," said Mao Junfeng, deputy director of the Department of Consumer Products Industry at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Vaccination campaign progresses slowly: long lines of people waiting for a dose in Florida

Dec. 31, 202000: 31

Sinopharm's vaccine has already been approved in the

United Arab Emirates and Bahrain

, and is scheduled for upcoming use in Morocco.

Mexico

, for its part, has already closed an agreement to acquire millions of doses of another Chinese vaccine, that of the CanSino company, which has not yet been approved.

Other countries, such as

Turkey, Indonesia and Brazil

, have been buying doses of another Chinese candidate vaccine, made by Sinovac Biotech. 

The New York Times reported that Sinopharm's announcement Thursday about its vaccine did not provide a breakdown of the results and left many questions unanswered. 

This, according to the New York newspaper, adds to the

scarcity of clear information about the vaccination policy of China

, where immunization programs against COVID-19 have already been launched before the authorization of the vaccines. 

With information from The New York Times and EFE. 

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2020-12-31

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