China conditionally approves two vaccines

Beijing: China has approved the registration applications of two domestically developed Covid-19 vaccines with conditions, the National Medical Products Administration said.

An inactivated vaccine from the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, an affiliate of China National Biotec Group of Sinopharm, was allowed to enter the market on a conditional basis, the administration said on Thursday.

The administration also conditionally approved the recombinant vaccine for Covid-19 made by CanSino Biologics. It marked the first approved adenoviral vector vaccine for Covid-19.

Conditional approvals help to speed emergency drugs to market in cases when clinical trials are yet to meet normal standards but indicate that therapies will work.

Sinopharm affiliate Wuhan Institute of Biological Products says its vaccine has an efficacy rate of 72.51%, while the overall efficacy for CanSino’s stands at 65.28% after 28 days.

China has now approved four domestic vaccines, after approving Sinovac’s CoronaVac jab earlier this month and another Sinopharm product in December.

On Thursday, the Chinese drug agency said it would require both licence holders to “continue carrying out relevant research, complete the conditional requirements and submit follow-up research results in a timely manner”.

Wuhan Institute of Biological Products’ vaccine has already been given to limited groups of people at higher infection risk under an emergency vaccination programme started in July.

It is one of two candidates from Sinopharm that have entered Phase III clinical trials overseas. — China Daily/ANN/AFP

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