Nearly a million people have received an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by Sinopharm as part of an emergency program approved by Beijing, said the chairman of the Chinese pharmaceutical giant.
No serious adverse effects from vaccine recipients have been reported so far, Sinopharm said on Wednesday in an article on social media platform WeChat, citing President Liu Jingzhen.
“In emergency use, we now use it on nearly a million people. We have not received any reports of serious side effects and only some have some mild symptoms,” Liu said.
Liu said the vaccine was given to Chinese construction workers, diplomats and students who went to more than 150 countries around the world during the pandemic – and none of them reported an infection.
On November 6, he said there were 56,000 people who received emergency vaccinations and then went abroad.
“For example, a multinational company has 99 employees in one of its overseas offices, 81 of whom have been vaccinated. And later an outbreak broke out in the office, 10 of the 18 people who were not vaccinated were infected and none of those vaccinated were infected, “he said.
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He said Sinopharm alone had conducted phase 3 clinical trials involving nearly 60,000 people in 10 countries – including the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Peru and Argentina. CNN has not yet seen the results of these tests.
Sinopharm has two candidates for the vaccine. It is not clear which vaccine Liu mentioned.
Beijing has approved emergency vaccination companies using experimental drugs for months. In June, the Chinese company CanSino Biologics announced that it had received special permission to administer its experimental vaccine to the People’s Liberation Army.
Since July, Chinese drug manufacturers have been administering experimental vaccines to people working in “high-risk” occupations under the emergency program, which allows vaccine applicants to be used on a limited scale before their safety and efficacy are fully demonstrated by clinical trials.
Experimental coronavirus vaccines have even been reported to the public in some parts of China, prompting some citizens to rush across the country to take their dose.
This comes after Pfizer announced on Wednesday the results of its coronavirus phase 3 tests, which it said were 95% effective in preventing infections – even in older adults – and did not raise serious safety concerns. A day earlier, Moderna announced that its coronavirus vaccine was 94.5% effective.
Pfizer is expected to request permission for emergency use from the US Food and Drug Administration for its vaccine on Friday.
Dr. Anthony Fauchi, the best infectious disease expert in the United States, said that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been extremely effective.
“It’s exceptional,” Fautsi said. “It’s almost to the level of what we see with measles (a vaccine), which is 98% effective.”