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Chinese drug firm says thousands have been vaccinated for COVID-19 on an emergency use scheme

Published on 08/09/20 at 12:19pm
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody R. Miller

Hundreds of thousands of people in China have been inoculated with two experimental vaccines on an emergency use scheme, according to a state-owned vaccine developer. 

Zhou Song, Secretary for the Commission for Discipline Inspection with China National Biotec Group, told China National Radio that his firm’s vaccines were the most widely used, adding: “Hundreds of thousands have taken the shot and no one has shown any obvious adverse effects or got infected. At present, based on the results of animal experiments, phased research results, and similar vaccines using similar technology, it is without question that immunity can last from one to three years.”

China’s emergency use scheme began in July and allows high risk groups and health workers to receive doses of coronavirus vaccines that have not yet met regulatory approval. The vaccines from China National Biotec Group are still undergoing Phase 3 trials in the UAE, Bahrain, Peru, Morocco, Jordan and Argentina. 

The China National Biotec Group’s vaccine has also been offered to some employees working at private companies. Last week, a deal was signed between Huawei and the group to offer the vaccine and other treatments to their employees.

Zhou also said that the vaccine should work against other strains of the virus, saying that COVID-19’s “main gene sequence and protein level has not fundamentally changed” and the vaccine “will have no problem in dealing with these mutated viruses in the next few years and can cover them.”

Conor Kavanagh

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