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China approves 13-valent pneumonia vaccine

Published on 02/01/20 at 11:41am

China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has approved the launch of the country’s first self-developed 13-valent pneumonia vaccine to protect babies from the illness.

The pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine is developed by the Walvax Biotechnology Ltd, and is only the second of its kind in the world. The only 13-valent pneumonia vaccine available in the global market currently is developed by Pfizer, and it was given approval to the Chinese market in 2016.

Pneumonia is a major killer of children under five and, with China having over 15 million newborns in 2018, this type of vaccine is in high demand.

Pneumonia kills more children than any other infectious disease, killing 800,000 under five every year according to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.

China is currently speeding up the approval process of foreign drugs to meet urgent clinical needs, but it is also supporting domestic enterprises more. It has streamlined procedures to fast-track the launch of vaccines developed in China.

Conor Kavanagh


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