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Coronavirus: nearly a million people already vaccinated with two experimental Chinese vaccines

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Nearly a million people have received “emergency” inoculations of two experimental coronavirus vaccines, a Chinese pharmaceutical company has confirmed.

Their effectiveness is unknown because Sinopharm has not yet provided clinical data from vaccine trials.

As of the summer, China has allowed vaccines – which have yet to be approved for wider use – in emergencies, such as employees and students traveling abroad or workers vulnerable to the exposure, such as healthcare workers.

“Our vaccines have been inoculated to nearly a million people and we have had no feedback of serious adverse reactions,” Sinopharm President Liu Jingzhen said on the company’s website.

According to the company, none of those who received his vaccines caught COVID-19, despite having traveled “to more than 150 countries” where the virus is active.

China, where the novel coronavirus was first spotted at the end of 2019, currently has four vaccines in phase 3 human trials, the last phase before they are approved and cleared for public use.

As there are believed to be very few infected patients in the country, with COVID-19 largely contained since the spring, vaccine trials are underway overseas.

Sinopharm’s Phase 3 clinical trials, which contains two vaccines that have reached this stage, are underway in a dozen countries around the world, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Argentina, Peru, Egypt and Jordan.

The president of the state pharmaceutical company assured that the company is “at the forefront of the world” in the development of vaccines against the coronavirus. However, he did not present any scientific data.

Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed that any vaccine produced by a company in his country would become a “global public good” that would be made available to developing countries.

Competition between global pharmaceutical companies has intensified in recent weeks.

The German-American duo Pfizer / BioNTech and the American biotechnology company Moderna have published data in recent days showing that their vaccines were respectively 95% and 94.5% effective.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday that the EU could be on the verge of giving the green light to the two pharmaceutical giants in December.

Earlier Thursday, Pfizer CEO Dr Albert Bourla said he would seek regulatory approval to distribute his company’s vaccine globally “within days.”

It has already produced 20 million doses with a view to producing an additional 50 million doses by the end of the year.

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