Sinopharm chairman claims there has not been a single case of infection after inoculation of officials, students and workers heading overseas
Almost a million people in China have taken an emergency Covid-19 vaccine that is still in its testing phase, the company that developed the vaccine has said.
Chinese authorities released the vaccine, developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), to select groups of people in July including Chinese government officials, students, and workers travelling overseas, before the vaccines had been proven to work.
Sinopharm’s claims, made in an interview with chairman Liu Jingzhen posted on WeChat, did not specify which of its vaccines had been given, but said the individuals had travelled to more than 150 countries around the world and “there has not been a single case of infection after inoculation”.
“Only individual patients have had some mild symptoms,” he said.
Sinopharm’s two vaccine candidates are among five Chinese candidates undergoing international clinical trials because the domestic prevalence of the disease is so low. At least three – all inactivated vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac – have been approved for emergency use outside the clinical trials, and some local governments have reportedly allowed residents to take the Sinovac vaccine.
In September, the United Arab Emirates was the first country outside China to approve emergency use of Sinopharm’s vaccine.
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Additional reporting by Lillian Yang