China Launch Emergency Use Of Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Given To Key Worker

The Chinese government had launched emergency use of a potential COVID-19 vaccine on July 22, Zheng Zhongwei, a director from the National Health Commission, told state broadcaster CCTV on Saturday.

China Launch Emergency Use Of Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Given To Key Worker

The announcement comes as China is developing at least eight vaccine candidates as it determines to become the first country in the world to roll out a successful vaccination for the pathogen.

Zheng, the Chinese health official who is leading the country’s vaccine development for the disease, revealed the move during a CCTV programme on August 22.

He claimed that the government had authorised ‘emergency use’ of a potential coronavirus vaccine on key workers including medics and border officials since late July.

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The health official also said that they are considering to ‘scale up’ the programme on people working in food markets, public transport and hospitality to prevent a possible virus outbreak in the autumn and winter.

His claim comes as Dr Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has also previously said that China’s first coronavirus vaccine could be ready by September.

Zheng Zhongwei claimed that the government had authorised ‘emergency use’ of a potential coronavirus vaccine. The file picture shows a volunteer receiving a potential COVID-19 vaccine produced by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech in Indonesia on August 14

‘The purpose is to build an immunity barrier in our key workers,’ Zheng added. ‘Once it is built, it will safeguard the operation of a whole city.’

It remains unclear which vaccine candidate has been administered and how many people have been involved in the programme announced by the Chinese official.

The news underscores the enormous stakes as China competes with US and British companies to be the first with a vaccine to help end the pandemic – a feat that would be both a scientific and political triumph.

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Last month, the head of China’s CDC, Dr Gao Fu, revealed that he has been injected with an experimental coronavirus vaccine.

He also said that taking the jab himself was an attempt to persuade the public to follow suit when one is approved.

China is developing at least eight vaccine candidates as it determines to become the first country in the world to roll out a successful vaccination for the pathogen. The file picture shows Chinese President Xi Jinping learning about the progress on the research into COVID-19 vaccine candidates during a visit to the Academy of Military Medical Sciences on March 2 +5
China is developing at least eight vaccine candidates as it determines to become the first country in the world to roll out a successful vaccination for the pathogen. The file picture shows Chinese President Xi Jinping learning about the progress on the research into COVID-19 vaccine candidates during a visit to the Academy of Military Medical Sciences on March 2

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In June, Dr Gao was a coauthor on a paper introducing one candidate, an ‘inactivated’ vaccine made by growing the whole virus in a lab and then killing it. That candidate is being developed by an affiliate of state-owned SinoPharm.

The company previously said in an online post that 30 employees, including top executives, helped ‘pre-test’ its vaccine in March, before it was approved for its initial human study.

Scientists vehemently debate such self-experimentation, because what happens to one or a few people outside a well-designed study is not usable evidence of safety or effectiveness.

A state-owned Chinese company injected employees with experimental shots in March, that even before the government-approved testing in people – a move that raised ethical concerns among some experts, according to The Associated Press.

Chinese state media have also reported that employees of state-owned companies going abroad are being offered injections of the vaccine.

Originally published at dailymail

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