China Covid-19 Vaccine: Name, Price, Efficacy, Countries Received and Facts About
Covid-19 Vaccine Made in China: Name, Price, Efficacy, Which Countries Have Received

China Covid-19 vaccine Latest News

Nearly 621 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across China as of Saturday, the National Health Commission said Sunday (May 30), Xinhua report.

Since May 12, more than 10 million doses have been administered every day in China, and on May 26, the daily number rose to 20 million.

The US has only administered around 1.4 million doses on a daily basis in the past few days. According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US administered 292.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday, and the number on Thursday was 290.7 million doses.

What is the Name of China Covid-19 Vaccines?

There are about a dozen Chinese vaccine candidates for covid-19, but five front runners have received emergency use approval in China as well as several other countries.

Sinopharm, a state owned enterprise, is currently working on two different jabs, both of which are based on an inactivated form of SARS-CoV-2. The first was developed at Sinopharm’s Beijing institute while the second was developed in Wuhan. A third vaccine called CoronaVac was developed by the Beijing based pharmaceutical firm Sinovac. It is also based on an inactivated form of SARS-CoV-2.

All three of these require two doses but the fourth front runner, from vaccine developer CanSinoBIO, is single dose. Unlike the others, it uses a human adenovirus, Ad5, to deliver SARS-CoV-2 proteins into the body. (Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine also uses a form of Ad5 as well as another adenovirus.) CanSinoBIO previously used the same approach to develop an Ebola vaccine that was approved for emergency use in China.

A fifth vaccine candidate, from pharmaceutical firm Anhui Zhifei Longcom, was given emergency use approval on 16 March. This one requires three doses and uses proteins based on the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

All five of these vaccines can be kept at normal fridge temperatures, a big advantage over others that require storage at extremely cold temperatures.

How much do they cost? Prices of Chinese Covid-10 Vaccine

In December, state media in China reported that Sinopharm and Sinovac intended to charge the government roughly $30 (£22; €26) per dose of their vaccines. Detail about the cost of other vaccines developed in China has not been made public.

How are the vaccines being deployed in China?

All five of the leading domestic candidates can be used in China, though it’s unclear how many doses of each have been administered so far, or where. No other vaccines have been approved for use in China.

The country had administered around 120 million doses as of 31 March, according to data published by the National Health Commission and reported by Reuters. Zhong Nanshan, a former president of the Chinese Medical Association, told the news agency in early March that China is aiming to vaccinate 40% of its 1.4 billion population by the end of July. The country is prioritising 18 to 59 year olds in key worker groups, such as healthcare workers, before moving on to clinically vulnerable people and then those who are aged 60 or over.

Authorities behind Hong Kong’s mass free vaccination programme have said that three centres originally set to offer the Pfizer vaccine would switch to Sinovac in response to strong public demand to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Serious adverse effects "extremely low" - Efficacy

Efficacy of Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccines proved again in new trials, CGTN report May 30.

Two COVID-19 vaccines developed by China's Sinopharm have shown an efficacy of over 72 percent in large scale phase-3 clinical trials, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on Wednesday.

The two inactivated vaccines, developed by Sinopharm's Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and Beijing Institute of Biological Products, showed an efficacy of 72.8 percent and 78.1 percent respectively against symptomatic COVID-19 cases, with rare serious adverse effects reported and it is the world's first published phase-3 study results of inactivated COVID-19 vaccines.

The rate of serious adverse effects from China's COVID-19 vaccines is extremely low, and the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday.

According to CDC statistics, 31,434 adverse reaction cases were reported on the Chinese mainland between December 15, 2020, and April 30, 2021, after 265 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered, with a rate of 11.86 per 100,000 doses.

Fever and swelling accounted for 82.96 percent or 9.84 per 100,000 doses in normal reactions. Meanwhile, abnormal reactions like an allergic rash accounted for 17.04 percent or 2.02 per 100,000 doses. A total of 188 cases of severe adverse reactions were reported, with the incidence of 0.07 per 100,000 doses, which means "extremely rare," the CDC said.

China Covid-19 Vaccine: Name, Price, Efficacy, Countries Received and Facts About
Covid-19 Vaccine Made in China - Imagine: CGTN

Which of China’s vaccines have been approved outside of China?

The UN agency has approved the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use, which is a prerequisite for inclusion in the global vaccine solidarity initiative, COVAX.

The vaccine is easy to store, making it suitable for locations with limited resources, and proved 79 per cent effective in clinical trials.

Sinopharm’s first vaccine has received the most emergency use approvals so far, nearly 30, including in Bahrain, Guyana, Hungary, Serbia, and the UAE. Hungary was the first EU country to approve use of a Chinese vaccine, with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán among those who have received it.

Several countries have approved Sinovac’s CoronaVac jab for emergency use, including Brazil, Chile (where the vaccine has been trialled), Indonesia, Laos, Mexico, and Turkey.

Mexico and Pakistan have given emergency use approval to the CanSinoBIO vaccine.

The Anhui Zhifei Longcom vaccine has received approval for use in Uzbekistan.

Which Countries Have Received Chinese Covid-19 Vaccines?

Over 60 countries have approved a Chinese vaccine and shortfalls in production or efficacy could darken the pandemic outlook for low-income countries, at a time when India is restricting vaccine exports in response to its own surge in cases.

To date, China has exported about 80 million doses.

China promised an additional $3 billion in international aid over the next three years to support COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in other developing countries at the Global Health Summit via video on May 21. Chinese vaccines are now part of the immunization campaigns in many developing countries, including in Africa nations, and have gained more recognition worldwide.

China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd. on Friday said it will set up a national center as part of the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Center, boosting the vaccine research and development in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS).

Egyptian health authorities on Friday received a shipment from China that includes raw bio-material from Sinovac, which will help Egypt begin producing the Chinese vaccine domestically, making it the first African nation to produce COVID-19 vaccines.

Thailand's food and drug regulator on Friday approved Sinopharm vaccines for emergency use, senior health official Paisan Dankhum told a news conference, making it the fifth COVID-19 vaccine Thailand has approved.

Also on Friday, around 700 Philippine athletes bound for the Tokyo Olympics and Southeast Asian Games received the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine.

Chile's President Sebastian Pinera on May 23 welcomed a shipment of 2.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses made by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac, the largest batch of vaccine doses the country has ever received, according to local media.

Addressing the press at a briefing at Santiago International Airport upon the batch's arrival, the president said 7.6 million people in Chile have received both doses and 9.5 million have received at least one shot.

The president himself has received two Sinovac shots, taken in February and March, respectively.

Libyan experts said that China's recent appeal for the international community to urgently provide COVID-19 vaccines to Africa is "an important call at a fateful time," a Xinhua report said on Tuesday.

"Beijing, through its call on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to provide vaccines, is keen to mobilize international support for African countries, most of which suffer from poverty and economic problems," said Khaled Al-Tarhouni, a Libyan political analyst.

He believes China will have a great and influential role in providing vaccines to Africa, especially after its recent agreement with Egypt to establish a Chinese vaccine production line in Egypt

Chinese firms have appeared keen to supply countries with plenty of doses of their vaccines, beyond those merely required to carry out clinical trials. For example, 223 million doses of Sinopharm jabs have already been distributed to various countries around the world. In some countries, the value of deals remains undisclosed but the New York Times reported that Hungary paid $36 per dose for the Sinopharm jab. In Senegal, a lower price was achieved—just $19 per dose in a deal supplying 200 000 Sinopharm doses to the African country.

Some nations are relying heavily on Chinese vaccines for their covid-19 vaccination programmes. The majority of those administered by the UAE, for example, are made by Sinopharm. Serbia looks set to receive another 500 000 Sinopharm doses, having already taken delivery of 1.5 million. Cambodia and Egypt have received shipments of 300 000 doses at a time.

Meanwhile, countries trialling Sinovac’s vaccine have received large numbers of doses already. Indonesia, for instance, has had 28 million doses at the time of writing. Chile has received five shipments according to China’s state media although the exact number of doses is unclear.

Rollout of the CanSinoBIO vaccine has only just started, but Pakistan has ordered “tens of millions” of doses, according to its health minister. Mexico has ordered eight million doses of the same jab.

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Chinese Covid-19 Vaccines may need changes to improve efficacy

China may need to replace its coronavirus vaccines or change the way they are administered in order to make them sufficiently effective against the SARS-Cov2 virus, the head of China’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said this weekend.

“We will solve the problem that current vaccines don’t have very high protection rates,” said George Gao, director general of the Chinese CDC, on 11 April at a Chengdu conference on covid-19 vaccines. “It’s now under consideration whether we should use different vaccines from different technical lines for immunisation.”

Existing vaccines might see changes in dosage, dosing interval, or number of doses, said Gao, or their administration might be mixed with vaccines based on different technologies. “Everyone should consider the benefits mRNA vaccine technology can bring for humanity,” said Gao. “We must follow it carefully and not ignore it just because we already have several types of vaccines already.”

Gao’s comments were widely seen as either an inadvertent slip or a deliberate attempt to pressure China’s government into pursuing mRNA vaccines, rather than a planned official admission. His words spread rapidly on Chinese social media before being censored. Chinese citizens continue to discuss the surprise admissions online, using deliberate misspelling to evade censors.

Gao later told journalists that his comments had been misinterpreted, and that he was referring to problems with all covid vaccines, not just China’s. Chinese state media repeated that claim.

China’s leading vaccines are largely based on inactivated virus technology of long standing, while the Oxford AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, and Sputnik vaccines use non-coronavirus live viral vectors altered to exhibit the coronavirus spike protein. Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines use the latest technology, messenger RNA.

China’s pharmaceutical firms say they are rapidly mastering mRNA technology. Asked about Gao’s comments, another Chinese health official, Wang Huaqing, said, “The mRNA vaccines developed in our country have also entered the clinical trial stage.”

The phase III trials of China’s existing vaccines remain unpublished. For CoronaVac, the vaccine made by private company Sinovac, phase 1 and II data has been published—showing a limited antibody response—while state owned Sinopharm has only said that its two vaccines have efficacy of 79.4% and 72.5%, based on interim results.

The phase III Sinovac trials conducted in Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Turkey, and the Philippines have so far given sharply disparate unpublished results, with Brazilian researchers finding 50.7% efficacy, or 62.3% with longer dosing intervals, while Turkish researchers reported 83.5% efficacy. Sinovac’s efficacy was not diminished by the Brazilian P.1 variant, researchers there said.

A study of the Sinovac rollout by the University of Chile reported that the vaccine was 56.5% effective two weeks after second doses were administered in the country. However, they also reported that one dose was just 3% effective (rising to 27.7% within two weeks of the second dose, and 56.5% two weeks later).

Responding to Gao’s comments, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, a spokeswoman for Indonesia’s covid-19 vaccine programme, said that her country’s phase III Sinovac trial will report efficacy of 65%. “The ability to form antibodies in our bodies is still very good,” she said.

The Sinopharm company and the United Arab Emirates, which uses a Sinopharm vaccine, have both recently experimented with an extra third dose, hoping to increase antibody response.

For some governments, shortage of Chinese vaccines remains a bigger headache than worries about efficacy, as the pace of deliveries has fallen off. In Turkey, most vaccination sites were closed this week as President Erdogan’s government publicly complained about delays in receiving promised doses of the Sinovac vaccine. Egypt has received only a small fraction of its order. Brazil’s government has publicly asked China for more.

Many observers question if Chinese production can meet existing commitments, even as China’s government makes new promises abroad. Health official Wang Huaqing said this weekend that China expects to manufacture about three billion vaccine doses in 2021, of unspecified type.

China reports only 16 new confirmed coronavirus cases

China, May 30, reported 16 new confirmed coronavirus cases including two authorities said were believed to have been acquired locally.

The two locally transmitted cases were in Guangdong province in the south, adjacent to Hong Kong, the National Health Commission reported. It said the other infections are believed to have been acquired abroad.

Mainland China’s death toll stands at 4,636 out of 91,061 confirmed cases, according to the NHC.

Facts About Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine

The Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, BBIBP-CorV, which the Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products (BBIBP) developed, is the first Chinese COVID-19 vaccine that the World Health Organization (WHO) has authorized for emergency use.

The Sinopharm vaccine contains SARS-CoV-2 that has undergone treatment with a chemical called beta-propiolactone. This chemical binds to the virus’s genetic material and stops it from replicating and causing COVID-19. The vaccine also contains an adjuvant in the form of aluminum hydroxide. Adjuvants help strengthen the body’s immune response to vaccines.

The WHO recommends the Sinopharm vaccine for people aged 18 years and older, with a gap of 3–4 weeks between the two doses. The global health agency estimates overall vaccine efficacy to be about 78%, although it notes that trial data are lacking for adults over the age of 60 years

Common side effects

Published data to support Sinopharm’s BBIBP-CorV vaccine are lacking. Data from a small phase 1/2 trial that involved about 600 volunteers appeared in The Lancet Infectious DiseasesTrusted Source in October 2020. The authors of the paper reported that the vaccine was safe and well-tolerated by trial participants.

The WHO reviewed safety data from three clinical trials, which included data for 16,671 participants who received the Sinopharm vaccine. Most of these data relate to men aged 18–59 years.

Based on these data, the most common side effects were:

  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • injection site reactions

These side effects are similar to those of other authorized vaccines against COVID-19, and most were mild to moderate.

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