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China Approves Sinopharm Covid-19 Vaccine

The Chinese government said on Thursday that it had approved a homegrown coronavirus vaccine after an early analysis of clinical trial results showed that it was effective. The announcements sent a positive signal for the global rollout of Chinese vaccines but lacked crucial details.

The manufacturer, a state-controlled firm called Sinopharm, said that they plan to vaccinate 50 million people in China by mid-February, when hundreds of millions are expected to travel for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Firm said on wednesday that a vaccine candidate made by its Beijing Institute of Biological Products arm had an efficacy rate of 79 percent based on an interim analysis of Phase 3 trials. 

Sinopharm said it had filed an application with Chinese regulators to allow the vaccine to be used broadly, and on Thursday the government said the vaccine had been granted conditional approval.

If supported, the interim results will bolster claims that Chinese officials have made in recent days that the country’s vaccines are safe and effective. 

The United Arab Emirates approved a Sinopharm vaccine earlier this month, becoming the first foreign country to approve a China-developed Covid-19 vaccine. It said the vaccine was 86 percent effective, according to interim results of a Phase 3 trial.

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