Chinese vaccine developer says 'hundreds of thousands' of people given COVID-19 shots
The company's general counsel Zhou Song said SinoPharm has provided emergency vaccinations to high-risk groups, including medical professionals and diplomats deployed to high-risk areas, according to a statement on its website.
China's state-owned pharmaceutical company SinoPharm said that "hundreds of thousands" of people in the country have received COVID-19 vaccinations under an emergency use program. This comes despite expert concerns over the safety of drugs that have not completed standard testing.
The company's general counsel Zhou Song said SinoPharm has provided emergency vaccinations to high-risk groups, including medical professionals, diplomats deployed to high-risk areas, and workers for state-owned enterprises who participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, according to a statement on its website.
"(The vaccines) have been applied ... hundreds of thousands of times, and there was not a single case that demonstrated significant negative effects, nor was anyone infected," Zhou said. In the statement cited by CNN, SinoPharm said it is currently developing two COVID-19 vaccines, and both vaccines are now in Phase 3 clinical trial.
The company also claimed that 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines can be produced by the end of this year.
Zhou said that "the vaccines were proven effective" because none of those who travelled to high-risk places after receiving the injections were infected with COVID-19. He added that individuals receiving the vaccine will have to get two doses to generate antibodies, with the second shot coming two to four weeks after the first shot.
The chief biosafety expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed this week that she too had been injected in April as she announced the potential that at least some of the vaccines would be ready for public use as early as November.
"So far, among the people who who were vaccinated, no one has been sick with the disease," Guizhen Wu said on state TV. "So far, (the vaccination scheme) works very well. No side effect occurred."
"The public can start taking the vaccine around November or December as the performance of Phase III trials goes well," added Wu.
China's approach runs counter to that of many Western countries, where experts have warned against authorizing the emergency use of vaccines that have not completed testing, citing a lack of understanding about longer-term efficacy and potential side effects.