Sinovac to lift yearly production capacity to 2 billion doses by June as China expands vaccination program
Published: Mar 03, 2021 08:50 PM
The vaccine developed by China's Sinovac. Photo: VCG

The vaccine developed by China's Sinovac. Photo: VCG

Chinese vaccine producer Sinovac Biotech will expand annual production capacity to 2 billion doses by June, company CEO Yin Weidong told the Global Times on Wednesday in an exclusive interview. 

The announcement came as China is set to accelerate and expand its mass vaccination program. According to an internal televised meeting summary of the Anhui provincial Center of Disease Control and Prevention on vaccine deployment the Global Times obtained on Wednesday, the country aims to vaccinate 560 million people, 40 percent of its population by the end of June, and another cohort of more than 330 million by the year's end, reaching 64 percent of the overall population, 

"It is a good prospect that we can expand yearly production capacity to 2 billion doses and use the doses to protect people so the country can resume exchanges with the world faster," Yin said.

Facing growing domestic and international demand, Chinese vaccine producers have continued to expand capacity. 

Based on previous media reports and exclusive information, the Global Times learned that Chinese COVID-19 vaccine producers will hopefully be able to reach an annual production capacity of 3.92 billion doses by the end of this year. 

This figure would exceed the expectations of Feng Duojia, president of the China Vaccine Industry Association, who told the Global Times previously in an exclusive interview that China's annual COVID-19 vaccine production capacity is expected to reach 2 billion doses by the end of 2021 and 4 billion by the end of 2022. 

Four billion would cover 40 percent of world demand, Feng previously said.  

Senior executives from Sinopharm have said on many occasions that they would be able to produce 1 billion doses by the end of 2021.

CanSinoBIO CEO Yu Xuefeng Monday told media their production capacity is expected to reach 500 million doses per year in the following months.

China's Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical Co told media it is able to produce 300 million doses per year once their vaccine is approved. 

China's first recombinant subunit COVID-19 vaccine, co-developed by Zhifei and the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has been approved to enter phase III clinical trials in Pakistan.

China's first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine production plant is also under construction in Yuxi, Southwestern China's Yunnan province, which is expected to produce 120 million doses of the vaccine per year when the plant is put into use in August.

The mRNA vaccine, called ARcoVax, is co-developed by the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Suzhou ABOGEN and Yunnan Walvax Biotechnology Co.

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