China Sinopharm’s vaccine 79 percent protective against COVID-19

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Chinese state-backed Sinopharm announced on Wednesday that its coronavirus vaccine is 79.34 percent effective against the virus, Reuters reported.

The news comes only weeks after the vaccine became officially available in the UAE.

Sinopharm subsidiary, and developer of the vaccine, China National Biotec Group (CNBG) has also filed for regulatory approval in China for its general public use, the group said on Wednesday.

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It is one of the five most developed vaccine candidates from China including another from CNBG.

China’s emergency use program has vaccinated hundreds of thousands of people since July, and a Sinopharm vaccine was approved for emergency use in the UAE in September.

Phase III trials in the UAE involving around 31,000 volunteers suggested that its Sinopharm vaccine was 86 percent effective. The trials were run as a partnership between Sinopharm and Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company Group 42 (G42) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Health.

Several senior UAE ministers including Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid have already received the vaccine.

Detailed results from both the UAE and China studies have not yet been released, although a company spokesperson said that clinical trial results including the number of infections would be released at a later date.

China plans to distribute 100 million vaccine doses and inoculate 50 million people in early 2021, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.

As well as the two Sinopharm vaccines, China has also approved two Sinovac candidates for emergency use and one from CanSino Biologics for military use.

The high-priority group includes health workers, police officers, firefighters, customs officers, cargo handlers, transport and logistics workers.

With Reuters and WAM

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