China's CanSino, Sinopharm unit, seek approval for Covid vaccines

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Sinopharm's first Covid-19 vaccine is already being used around the world

China's CanSino Biologics and a unit of Sinopharm said Wednesday they have applied for public use of their Covid-19 vaccines, and announced efficacy rates.

Sinopharm affiliate Wuhan Institute Of Biological Products said in a statement its vaccine's efficacy rate was 72.51 percent, while the overall efficacy for CanSino's stood at 65.28 percent after 28 days.

If their applications are successful, it would mean four of China's domestically developed vaccines are approved for public use.

Earlier this month, China's drug authorities gave conditional approval to Sinovac's CoronaVac jab, while the first green light went to another Sinopharm product in December.

The published efficacy rates of China's vaccines, however, remain behind rival jabs by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have 95 percent and 94 percent rates respectively.

China has been racing to develop homegrown jabs, and set a goal to vaccinate 50 million people by mid-February -- with more than 40 million doses given as of February 9.

Its vaccination programme has initially been targeting key groups such as medical workers and people who work and study abroad, according to state media.

Wuhan Institute Of Biological Products cited late stage clinical trial data when releasing its vaccine's efficacy rate, saying it met the World Health Organization's "relevant technical standards".

In a separate filing, CanSino Biologics said interim data analysis of more than 40,000 subjects has been done.

It said its single-shot vaccine had 68.83 percent protective efficacy against all symptomatic cases after 14 days, and this dropped to 65.28 percent after 28 days.

The protective effects against severe disease was 95.47 percent after 14 days of receiving the jab and 90.07 after 28 days, said the company.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China was providing free vaccines to 53 countries, and exporting vaccines to 22 nations who have made purchasing requests.

bys/mtp