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China Approves Its Homegrown COVID-19 Vaccine For Widespread Use


#China’s medical products agency has given market approval to the country’s first COVID-19 vaccine, made by state-owned #Sinopharm. The conglomerate says its vaccine has a 79% efficacy rate — surpassing the widely accepted standard of 50% efficacy.

The approval is conditional, requiring #Sinopharm to continue collecting data about the vaccine and its long-term effects. #But the arrival of another mass-produced vaccine could provide relief in countries that have been unable to secure doses of the vaccines made by #Pfizer-BioNTech and #Moderna. #China’s approval came one day after the U.K. approved a vaccine made by #AstraZeneca and #Oxford #University.

The #Sinopharm vaccine uses inactivated coronavirus that causes the body to produce antibodies, a more conventional approach to inoculation. #Pfizer’s and #Moderna’s vaccines use a revolutionary gene-based platform.

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The #Chinese vaccine requires two injections. #It was created by a #Sinopharm subsidiary, the #China #National #Biotec #Group, or CNBG. The drugmaker says it has been conducting clinical studies in #China as well as in other countries such as the #United #Arab #Emirates, #Bahrain, #Egypt, #Jordan, #Peru, #Argentina and #Morocco.

“#During the summer, #Beijing gave a green light for emergency use of the #Sinopharm vaccine and several others,” NPR’s #John #Ruwitch reported for our #Newscast unit. “#State media say that millions of doses have already been administered, including to front-line medical staff and people going abroad for work. #Emergency use is set to expand.”

#Both #Bahrain and the UAE — where large-scale trials of the #Sinopharm vaccine took place — approved the vaccine earlier this month.

#China’s new approval for widespread use moves the country closer to its goals of vaccinating millions more people in the coming months. #To protect itself from COVID-19, #China must vaccinate at least 700 million residents, CNBG #Chairman #Yang #Xiaoming told #Chinese state-run media.

#Yang also said that he and hundreds of other CNBG employees were inoculated with a version of the company’s vaccine in #March — the same month COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.

#Along with the efficacy rate, a vaccine’s ability to protect public health is tied to another figure: vaccine coverage — the number of people who get the shot and develop antibodies to the virus.

“The percentage of people who need to have antibodies in order to achieve herd immunity against a particular disease varies with each disease,” the #World #Health #Organization says. #It notes that for measles, around 95% of a population must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, while for polio, the threshold is much lower: about 80%.

#In addition to those differences, a vaccine’s efficacy rate directly affects the amount of coverage a population must have to prevent or curtail an epidemic. #Researchers have been studying how high an efficacy rate must be to protect the public without any other interventions.

#One study recently concluded that a vaccine “has to have an efficacy of at least 70% to prevent an epidemic and of at least 80% to largely extinguish an epidemic without any other measures (e.g., social distancing).”

#Copyright 2020 NPR. #To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.



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https://www.upr.org/post/china-approves-its-homegrown-covid-19-vaccine-widespread-use

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