Thursday Feb 25, 2021
BEIJING: China on Thursday has approved two more coronavirus vaccines for public use, taking the total number of vaccines manufactured in the country to four.
The two newly-approved vaccines are made by CanSino Biologics Inc and Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, an affiliate of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).
They join a vaccine from Sinovac Biotech approved earlier this month, and another from Sinopharm's Beijing unit approved last year.
So far, China has not approved COVID-19 vaccines developed by Western drug makers.
Sinopharm's Wuhan unit said on Wednesday its vaccine had an efficacy rate of 72.51% against the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus, citing an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trial data, without offering more details.
It is one of two candidates from Sinopharm that have entered Phase III clinical trials overseas and was earlier given to a limited group of people at higher infection risk.
The four approved Chinese vaccines can be stored at normal freezer temperatures, making them a potentially attractive option for developing countries that might have difficulty deploying vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that require much colder temperatures for longer-term storage.
China has been exporting the Sinovac and earlier Sinopharm vaccines to countries around the world.