A Chinese city is offering Sinovac Biotech’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine to essential workers and other high-risk groups as part of a national program for about $60.
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The eastern city of Jiaxin’s center for disease control and prevention (CDC) said in a statement on WeChat that two doses of the vaccine candidate, called CoronaVac, will cost 200 yuan ($29.75) per dose and that vaccinations for key groups including medical professionals have begun.
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Chinese authorities have to date not released pricing details for potential COVID-19 vaccines. Hundreds of thousands of people have been given experimental vaccines in late-stage trials as part of an emergency inoculation program launched in July.
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It was not clear if Jiaxin city’s pricing includes subsidies. The city’s CDC declined to comment.
Sinovac did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Its vaccine is in late stage trials in Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey, and the company has said that an interim analysis of Phase 3 trial data could come as early as November.
Bio Farma, a state-owned firm in Indonesia which has reached a deal for at least 40 million doses from Sinovac, said this week the vaccine will cost around 200,000 rupiah ($13.60) per dose when it becomes available in the southeast Asian country.
China has said that while reasonable profits for companies are permitted, COVID-19 vaccines should be priced close to cost.
China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) said in August that a vaccine candidate developed by a unit may cost no more than 1,000 yuan ($148.80) for two shots. An official at China’s National Health Commission has said, however, the price will be lower.
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