Feb 6, 2021 - Health

China approves Sinovac vaccine, its second shot for general public use

Picture of a nurse preparing a Sinovac vaccine

A nurse prepares a Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine in China. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

China's health regulator has approved the two-shot coronavirus vaccine developed by domestic drugmaker Sinovac Biotech Ltd. for general public use.

Why it matters: Sinovac's CoronaVac is the second vaccine to receive authorization in the country. State-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm produced the first vaccine to receive approval in China last December.

The big picture: The conditional approval means that the vaccine can be administered to the public, but more research is needed to ensure the benefits outweigh any adverse effects, per AP.

  • The vaccine received emergency approval last summer for health workers to be inoculated.
  • Health officials hope to inoculate 50 million people before Chinese New Year on Feb. 11, Bloomberg reports.
  • The Sinovac vaccine has been sold to at least 10 other countries and is already being distributed in at least five nations, AP says.

Worth noting: Sinovac has faced criticism "due to a lack of transparency around clinical trial data," The Wall Street Journal writes.

  • Several phase 3 trials in Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia have shown efficacy rates between 50.38% to 91.25%, per Bloomberg.
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