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China’s Sinopharm Administers Unproven COVID-19 Vaccine to One Million People Without Any Serious Adverse Event

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 23 Nov 2020
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An untested COVID-19 vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd. (Sinopharm Beijing, China) has been administered to almost one million people in the country under the Chinese government’s emergency use scheme without reports of any serious adverse event.

The announcement of one million recipients was made by Liu Jingzhen, chairman of Sinopharm, in a recent interview with a Chinese digital media company. This follows the company’s announcement in September that it had already administered its experimental COVID-19 vaccine to hundreds of thousands of people in China. State officials in China have justified the authorization of an unproven vaccine by claiming that its use is being restricted to high-risk individuals, although this group includes school, supermarket and public transport workers along with frontline health professionals.

Sinopharm’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine uses an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus that is unable to replicate in human cells to trigger immune responses. China is still conducting clinical trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidates in order to test their efficacy and safety. The interim results of the final stage clinical trials of the Chinese vaccines are still to be released, although Jingzhen said that the results would be available soon and the findings were “better than expected”.

“In terms of emergency use, the vaccines were applied to nearly a million people and there has not been a single case of a serious adverse event. People have had only mild symptoms,” said Jingzhen.

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