A Chinese pharmaceutical company has injected hundreds of thousands of people with the experimental Kovid-19 vaccine, as its Western counterparts have warned against undertaking large-scale vaccination before rigorous scientific studies are completed.
China’s state-owned Biopac Group Co., a subsidiary of state-owned Sinoperm, has given two experimental vaccine candidates to hundreds of thousands of people under an emergency-use condition approved by Beijing in July. Separately, Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturer Sinovac Biotech Ltd said it vaccinated 3,000 people, including the firm’s chief executive, along with its employees and their family members.
Three vaccine candidates are still undergoing Phase 3 clinical trials, which include testing the safety and effectiveness of one vaccine over thousands of people. According to the World Health Organization, six other prominent Kovid-19 vaccine candidates are also in the final stages.
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Regulators in individual countries usually determine whether the public is allowed to use the vaccine only after the test is completed. The US, UK and Germany, where some of the major candidates have arisen, have not yet approved any Kovid-19 vaccine for use outside of clinical-trials.
Public-health experts say that front-line medical staff should be given priority in emergency use without any vaccination. In June, the Chinese government called CanSino Biologics Inc. Approved members of the military to obtain the experimental vaccine developed by, then authorized the emergency use of other vaccine candidates for medical personnel and border inspectors in July.
Nine Western pharmaceutical companies promised in a joint statement this week not to file for regulatory approval or authorization of their experimental Kovid-19 vaccines until formal clinical trials are completed.
In an opinion column published on Thursday, eight senior officials of the US Food and Drug Administration said they would not allow politics to influence their assessment of the Kovid-19 vaccine candidates, widely before President Trump made the vaccine available. It was called upon to provide. Presidential election on 3 November.
The UK’s AstraZeneca plc, which is developing one of the leading candidates, has halted clinical trials this week, aiming to recruit 30,000 people after a woman in a UK study said that Unexplained disease has developed. Testing may be restarted based on the results of an independent review of potential safety concerns.
Conversely, China and Russia are eager to start using their domestic vaccines, to restart their economies and claim global public relations victories.
Last month, Russia claimed to be the first country to approve the Kovid-19 vaccine based on early-stage trials. Officials there have said they hope to begin mass vaccination by the end of the year.
China, which says it has largely stamped the new coronovirus within its borders, has also taken an aggressive stance for vaccination. Among hundreds of thousands injected with CNBG’s experimental vaccine doses, Sinopharm subsidiaries are employees of Hong Kong-based Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Ltd. in mainland China.
Phoenix Television said last week that it injected its employees under China’s emergency use policy, but did not say how many vaccines were found.
In an interview with Phoenix Television, Sinpharma president Liu Jingjen suggested that the drug maker offer its vaccines to more Chinese journalists, especially those working abroad. “With the explosion of the virus abroad, one should expect this type of vaccine,” Mr Liu said.
Zhou Song, a senior CNBG official, said on the company’s social-media account that not a single person receiving the vaccination had been infected with the new coronovirus nor experienced any apparent adverse reactions. Mr. Zhou also said that the company was not vaccinating pregnant or lactating women. CNBG did not say whether it informed people that it vaccinated potential risks.
Mr Zhou said that the injections given so far, including Chinese laborers working on foreign infrastructure projects, have shown the effectiveness of vaccines.
While Chinese infrastructure activists are not part of the company’s formal clinical trials, Mr. Zhou said the company had collected data in several countries showing that their vaccinations protected them for several months.
Liu Peicheng, a spokesperson for Synovac, said it injected 3,000 employees and their family members, saying the company’s recent vaccinations were purely voluntary and that it posed potential risks of taking the vaccine before the completion of clinical trials Had disclosed. He said that the company had proposed this to its employees because they believed they were exposed to a higher risk of infection.
“We are not here to show the safety of the vaccine to the public,” Mr. Liu said of emergency use.
China has promised to share any successful vaccines with other countries, many of which are of strategic interest, including the Philippines, Indonesia and Brazil. Synovac has agreed to provide 100,000 vaccine doses, free of charge, to Bangladesh.
America has said that its own citizens will get priority in any successful vaccine. It is already committed to purchasing vaccines developed in the UK and Germany.
The CNBG said it has received 500 million doses of orders from most Chinese drug manufacturers, although it did not specify which countries placed the orders. The company is conducting phase 3 clinical trials in the United Arab Emirates and Argentina.
The company’s vaccine regimen may require people to take two or three doses. CNBG said it would be able to produce about 100 million doses of its Kovid-19 vaccines by the end of the year and then produce up to one billion doses annually.
Write to Chao Deng at [email protected]