Chinese drugmaker: Vaccine 79.3% effective in final tests
A Chinese drugmaker on Wednesday said its coronavirus vaccine was found to be 79.3% effective at preventing infection in preliminary data from the final round of testing, moving Beijing closer to possibly being able to fulfill its pledge to supply them to developing countries. More than one million health care workers and others there have received vaccines under emergency approval while testing was underway.
Sinopharm is one of the Chinese developers creating vaccines
State-owned Sinopharm is one of at least four Chinese developers working on a vaccine for the disease that has killed 1.8 million people. Beijing Biological Products, the company's unit, said on its website that the vaccine is awaiting approval following the third and final stage of testing. However, the two-sentence announcement gave no information about side effects, conditions required to transport, or other details.
The second vaccine from a Sinopharm unit
The Sinopharm vaccine relies on two doses, the company said, similar to Western-developed vaccines. It would be the second vaccine from a Sinopharm unit, following a separate candidate developed by the company's Wuhan Institute of Biological Products Ltd. Chinese producers have at least six possible vaccines in the final stage of clinical trials.
Chinese developers testing vaccines in more than a dozen countries
Chinese developers are testing vaccines in more than a dozen countries, including Russia, Egypt, and Mexico. Few details have been released, leaving experts abroad wondering about effectiveness and side effects. While Western-developed vaccines must be kept frozen at temperatures as low as -70 degree Celsius, Chinese developers have said theirs can be stored at 2 to 8 degree Celsius.
Health experts express concern about poorer countries
Even as western companies have started distributing their vaccines, some health experts have expressed concern too little will be available to poorer countries. China's government says it will ensure Chinese-developed vaccines are affordable for developing countries. Meanwhile, health experts say the certification process for the United States, Europe, Japan, and other developed countries might be too complex for Chinese vaccines to be used there.Share this timeline