Chinese officials have announced that no recipient of the Covid-19 vaccine approved for emergency use has reported severe adverse effects. Authorities’ records show that no vaccine recipient who has gone to work in countries where the pandemic is still ongoing has so far been infected.
China has 13 vaccine candidates in clinical trials, of which three inactivated vaccines and one adenovirus vector vaccine are in phase three trials overseas, said Tian Baoguo, deputy head of the Department of Science and Technology for Social Development of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Roughly 60,000 volunteers have been inoculated with the four vaccine candidates currently in phase three trials, Tian Baoguo said at a news briefing held by the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council. No severe adverse reaction has yet been reported among them, and preliminary results show that these vaccines can be considered, overall, safe. They have only have side effects such as pain and bruising at the injection site, as well as temporary low-grade fever, Tian Baoguo added.
Liu Jingzhen, chairman of China National Pharmaceutical Group Co, or Sinopharm, said that third-stage clinical trials of two inactivated vaccine candidates developed by the company are being conducted in 10 foreign countries. These include the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Argentina, Egypt and Peru. The current feedback seems to have been satisfactory so far. “We have received wide recognition from the international community,” Liu said. He indicated that there other countries potentially interested in the company’s vaccines.
Zheng Zhongwei, head of China’s Covid-19 vaccine development task force, announced that the nation’s annual Covid-19 vaccine production capacity could reach 610 million doses this year, with potential further expansion in 2021. Company executives have stated that an annual production capacity of 1 billion doses would be feasible next year.
When asked about the emergency use of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate in the country, Zheng Zhongwei said that China is facing great pressure from clusters of domestic outbreaks. “It’d be a necessary measure to approve the vaccines for emergency use in high-risk demographics, such as front-line medical personnel, border staff, people traveling overseas to work and essential workers,” he said.
We have received wide recognition from the international community.Liu Jingzhen, chairman of China National Pharmaceutical Group Co
Zheng Zhongwei stated that China’s vaccine emergency use authorization process is strictly governed and conducted in accordance with related laws and regulations. The country has notified the World Health Organization’s (WHO) representative about the emergency authorization. Zheng Zhongwei reported that the WHO has offered its understanding and support.
An approval committee headed by Zhong Nanshan, an expert on respiratory diseases, along with other experts in law, ethics and clinical medicine, has been tasked with screening and selecting which vaccine gets approved for emergency use, Zheng Zhongwei said.
Individuals have been inoculated of their free will, and are fully aware of the risks involved. “There are mechanisms to closely monitor the recipients for any adverse effects should they occur,” Zheng Zhongwei said. Gao Qiang, general manager of Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech, said the company has established a robust adverse effect monitoring system in accordance with global guidelines with all its foreign partners, including in Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey. “No severe adverse effects has yet been received from our partners,” he said.
According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), China has an adverse-effect surveillance system that is certified by the WHO for vaccines on the market. The system has played a key role in tracking vaccine-related adverse effect incidents over the past decade, the Chinese CDC reported.
Zhao Xing, a Foreign Ministry official, announced that the country continues to keep its promise of making Covid-19 vaccines a global public good, as well as promoting equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, in particular for developing countries.
On the 8th of October, China joined COVAX, an initiative co-led by the WHO and partners to ensure efficient and equitable global access to a Covid-19 vaccine. 184 countries and regions have so far joined the initiative. “By joining the initiative, we can try to encourage more countries to participate in this project,” Zhao Xing said.