China's home-produced Omicron-specific mRNA vaccine to start trials
Published: Aug 15, 2022 11:25 PM
Sinopharm officials and envoys thumb up for Chinese vaccines at the media briefing session on Monday. Photo: Courtesy of Sinopharm

Sinopharm officials and envoys thumb up for Chinese vaccines at the media briefing session on Monday. Photo: Courtesy of Sinopharm

The application for clinical trials of a domestic Omicron-specific mRNA COVID-19 vaccine has been submitted for approval, marking a leading step in efforts to fight the Omicron variant, Chinese leading vaccine producer Sinopharm said on Monday.

At a media briefing on Sinopharm ranking top among global pharmaceutical enterprises and 80th on the Fortune Global 500, envoys from countries including Argentina, Egypt, Pakistan, Peru and Serbia expressed their appreciation for Sinopharm's support, which was of great help in giving countries access to vaccines.

Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for registration or emergency use in 119 countries and regions as well as international organizations, covering 196 states, with a total of 3.5 billion doses distributed globally. More than 50 heads of state and government have chosen Sinopharm's doses, making it the most widely available and one of the safest vaccines in the world, the Global Times learned from the producer. 

The producer also supported local production of the vaccine in countries including the UAE, Serbia, Morocco and Myanmar.

The rapid progress of Sinopharm represents the leapfrog development of China's biological products - from lagging behind to partially leading the world, Zhu Jingjin, a senior official of China National Biotech Group, affiliated with Sinopharm, told the Global Times on Monday.

The ambassadors in attendance praised China for turning into reality its commitment to making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good.

"At a time when most states were focused on safeguarding their own wellbeing, and when it was very difficult to purchase medical equipment and vaccines on a global level, China was the first country that gave medical aid to Serbia, as well as vaccines, and later allowed it to purchase them from China," Serbian Ambassador to China Maja Stefanovic said on Monday.

"I am proud to recall that Serbia was the first country in Europe to start immunization with the vaccines of a Chinese producer, the Sinopharm Corporation. Serbia has been provided with 6 million vaccines, of which 200,000 were a donation by the Chinese side," she said.

The first factory for production of Chinese vaccines in Europe has been constructed in Serbia's capital Belgrade, and is expected to start production soon, according to the ambassador.

Sinopharm's name is very well known in Serbia, and it is not only a symbol of health and the fight against COVID-19, but also a symbol of iron-clad friendship, mutual understanding and support between our two countries, she stressed. 

"A large number of Serbian citizens have chosen to be inoculated with your vaccine. Our mutual cooperation has been further reinforced by the joint project of construction of the vaccine factory in Serbia, illustrating a new model of cross-border health cooperation and the joint fight against the pandemic," Serbia's Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said in her congratulatory letter to Sinopharm. 

China and Sinopharm have been making active efforts as vulnerable populations are being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. China rapidly and safely provided 31 million vaccine doses to Argentina when it urgently needed them, which has strengthened the bond between our two peoples, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez wrote in his letter of congratulations to Sinopharm. 

Sinopharm has independently developed four COVID-19 vaccines, four COVID-19 diagnostic reagents and four COVID-19 treatment drugs to date. It is the only manufacturer in the world that has developed three types of COVID-19 vaccines at the same time, which observers said demonstrated Chinese resolution and wisdom in the face of a global health crisis.