China Has Been Giving Potential Coronavirus Vaccine To Key Workers Since July
The Chinese government is said to have been giving a coronavirus vaccine to key workers since July.
A senior health official revealed that a selected group of key workers, including health workers and border officials, had been chosen to take the Sars-Cov-2 vaccine.
According to Zheng Zhongwei, head of the National Health Commission’s science and technology centre, the Chinese government authorised the ‘emergency use’ of the vaccine at the beginning of last month.
The news comes after China reported seven days without a locally transmitted case of COVID-19.
Although it remains unclear which particular vaccine candidate has been used, or how many people it has been administered to, the announcement appears to be confirmation of the first use of a coronavirus vaccine outside of clinical trials.
Zheng, who heads up the vaccination development taskforce in China, said the vaccine had been administered legally, by using powers that allow limited use of unapproved vaccines during public health events as serious as this.
He told The Guardian:
We’ve drawn up a series of plan packages, including medical consent forms, side-effect monitoring plans, rescuing plans, compensation plans, to make sure the emergency use is well regulated and monitored.
Zheng added that they are planning to ‘scale up’ testing the vaccine among other groups of people before autumn and winter.
More than 170 vaccine candidates are in the works across the globe, with several of them already in phase three testing in China. This means they can be given to thousands of people in a bid to confirm it is safe and effective, according to the World Health Organization.
Around 20,000 people in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Peru, Morocco and Argentina are taking part in the human testing of a vaccine by state-owned China National Biotec Group, while SinoVac and CanSino Biologics also conducting trials in Brazil, Russia and Indonesia.
It comes after the Chinese government called on people working for state-owned companies, who frequently travel overseas, to volunteer for the testing of two vaccines in June this year.
A group of Chinese mine workers were reportedly refused entry into Papua New Guinea last week after the government raised concerns about a vaccination trial
The owners of the mine, which is run by a Chinese state-owned corporation, said 48 of its staff had been given a Sars-Cov-2 vaccine at the beginning of August. However, they were refused entry into the country because of a ‘lack of information on what these trials are and what possible risks of threats’ they could pose to the people of Papua New Guinea.
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