Officials in provinces across China are placing orders for experimental Coronavirus vaccines made in the country, even though the efficacy of the vaccines is still unclear. As reported, over one million healthcare workers and other vulnerable groups have already received vaccines under emergency use permission.
China, which has a population of almost 1.4 billion, has reported over 93,000 Coronavirus cases and more than 4,700 deaths, while the US which has far less population recorded over 14 million infection cases and more than 281,000 deaths due to the SARS-CoV-2 caused disease. However, despite millions of orders from the Chinese provinces, the healthcare officials haven't yet released a comprehensive plan to distribute the vaccines.
The government researchers in China are testing many vaccines from about a dozen countries with a domestic vaccine from Sinopharm, nearing final approval, the report said, citing an interview of the Chinese pharmaceutical company's Vice Premier Sun Chunlan. Even though the Chinese government has yet to say how many people it plans to vaccinate, as per Sun, plans are afoot to immunize border personnel and other high-risk populations in December.
China Vaccine Roll Out
Jiangsu province government issued a procurement notice for doses from Sinovac and Sinopharm recently, while Sichuan province with a population of 85 million people announced that they were already buying COVID-19 vaccines. Health experts question why China is using experimental Coronavirus shots on such a large scale at a time when the outbreak is largely under control within the Chinese borders.
However, Anhui province which is located in the southeast of the Chinese capital Beijing, and Sichuan province said that the vaccines will be given in two shots and would cost a total of $60 or 400 Yuan. Both the vaccines from Sinovac and Sinopharm received approval for emergency use in July this year.
While in September, Sinovac's CEO said almost 3,000 of its employees had taken the vaccine, in November the Communist Party secretary for Sinopharm said almost 1 million people had received its vaccine. But the developers haven't yet released details related to the efficacy and the side-effects of the vaccines.
Sinopharm has been conducting vaccine trials in 10 countries, including UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Peru, and Argentina, that included almost 60,000 participants, meanwhile, it has established two facilities in China that are capable of producing 200 million doses per year.
In terms of Sinovac, a study published recently in The Lancet revealed that its trail participants produced lower levels of antibodies than those who have already recovered from the Coronavirus caused disease. However, the company aims to produce a few hundred million doses of the vaccine by 2021 February or March.
CanSino, another vaccine developer from China is conducting its trial in Russia, Pakistan, and Mexico. As reported earlier, the vaccine has been already given to the Chinese military. There is a company called Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biologic Pharmacy Co., which is also conducting its final stage vaccine trials across the Chinese soil.