China approves its COVID-19 vaccines for emergency usage
As many countries all over the world are still waiting for conclusion of their COVID-19 trials and approval, China has gone ahead to authorize the emergency usage of its Covid-19 vaccines which were developed by some select domestic companies, a Chinese health official has said.
Based on Chinese vaccine management law, an emergency authorization use, allows unapproved vaccine candidates to be used among people who are at high risk of getting infected on a limited period.
“We’ve drawn up a series of plan packages, including medical consent forms, side-effects monitoring plans, rescuing plans, compensation plans, to make sure that the emergency use is well regulated and monitored,” Zheng Zhongwei, head of China’s coronavirus vaccine development task force, told state-run CCTV on Saturday.
Vaccine Management according to China’s Law states that when a particularly severe public health emergency occurs, vaccines in clinical trials can be used in a limited scope to protect medical and epidemic prevention personnel, border officers and other people working in stable city operations, Zheng said.
Earlier on, the state-run Global Times has reported that employees of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) preparing to go abroad and frontline medics have been offered two choices of domestic inactivated vaccine candidates developed by Sinopharm for urgent use.
Already on Thursday and Friday, Sinopharm signed cooperation agreements on phase III clinical trials of inactivated vaccines with Peru, Morocco and Argentina.
Zheng equally noted that for the next step of preventing possible outbreak this autumn and winter, vaccines’ availability will be extended to people working in food markets, transport systems and services industries.
The number of people being vaccinated on an urgent basis may reach hundreds of thousands across China, considering that personnel in wider sectors are being offered free injections, said Tao Lina, a Shanghai-based immunology expert, on Sunday.
“But it’s difficult to give an accurate figure since the Chinese military has begun mass vaccinations but has not released details,” Tao said.
Wu, an employee of a state-owned company handling overseas construction projects along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Asian and African countries, told the Global Times on Sunday that all staff in her firm have been offered inactivated vaccine injections on a voluntary basis for free.
Wu, who took the vaccine on August 7 along with many of her colleagues, said she did not experience any adverse reactions, similar to everyone else in her group.
“My colleagues and I felt only a little dizzy on the afternoon of the vaccination, but we got over it pretty quickly. There was no local redness, swelling or pain, and we did not hear of anyone reporting a fever,” said Wu, who will take her second dose on day 28 after the first shot.
“People seem to be relaxed over the vaccination as most of us feel confident in domestically developed vaccines,” she said.