China gives 4.5m doses of COVID-19 vaccine to high-risk groups including cold-chain workers
Published: Dec 31, 2020 11:50 AM

vaccine Photo:VCG

China has given 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for second round of emergency use since December 15 to protect people, including cold-chain workers and customs staff. This was done to prevent virus infections during the winter, Chinese authorities announced on Thursday.

This round of vaccinations also covered medical and transportation industry personnel, and people who work in agricultural and seafood markets, Zeng Yixin, vice chief of the National Health Commission, said at a press conference on Thursday. Roughly 1.5 million doses were given to high risk groups between June and November in the first round of emergency use,including 60,000 people who went to work in high risk regions overseas.  

Zeng said that a mechanism has been established via the emergency use: vaccination sites have been carefully set, medical staff have been strictly trained, adverse reaction monitoring and rescue systems have been built, all of which guarantee safe inoculations. 

The national drug regulator, at the same press conference, also announced it has granted conditional market approval to a domestically made vaccine developed by Sinopharm.  

"With the conditional market approval and increasing production capacity, China will roll out the plan to inoculate high-risk groups like the elderly, people with pre-existing conditions and gradually ordinary groups," Zeng said, noting the plan has already been made to vaccinate the public and achieve group immunity. 

Among people who received the 4.5 million doses of inactivated vaccines for emergency use, no severe side effects have occurred. Less than 0.1 percent showed light fever and only about two in a million cases exhibited severe reactions, like an allergy.

There are no reports of serious infections among 60,000 receivers who went overseas, demonstrating safety and efficacy of Chinese vaccines. 

China’s drug regulator has approved 14 COVID-19 vaccine candidates to enter human clinical trials. Five of them are in phase III clinical trials, including the inactivated one made by Sinopharm that got conditional market approval, Xu Nanping, Vice Minister of Science and Technology, said at the press conference on Thursday. 

Shares of Sinopharm jumped by 7 percent after Chinese authorities officially granted conditional market approval for its vaccines, also the first in the country.

Global Times