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Amid global criticism, China approves Sinopharm vaccine for general use

News Agencies | Updated on: 31 December 2020, 11:39 IST

Amid global criticism over the efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine against COVID-19, China on Thursday approved the country's first coronavirus vaccine for general public use, reported New York Times (NYT).

Sinopharm's subsidiary Beijing Institute of Biological Products said that the efficiency of its vaccine had exceeded 79 per cent based on an interim analysis of Phase 3 trials.

They plan to vaccinate 50 million people in China by mid-February, when hundreds of millions are expected to travel for the Lunar New Year holiday, reported NYT.

However, Sinopharm has provided no breakdown of results and left many questions unanswered, adding to a lack of clarity that has dogged China's coronavirus vaccine development for months.

The Sinopharm vaccine's results show that it is less effective than others that have been approved in other countries. Vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have an efficacy rate of about 95 per cent, while the Russian Sputnik V vaccine has an efficacy rate of 91 per cent, reported NYT.

Though the Sinopharm vaccine has been approved by Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, the Chinese drug regulators were pinned down for lack of transparency in their data. Earlier too, China had released piecemeal information on another Chinese vaccine candidate, made by Sinovac.

The absence of detailed information on the safety and efficacy of Chinese vaccines has raised global questions over transparency, efficacy and safety.


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First published: 31 December 2020, 11:39 IST