China’s Sinopharm says second-generation COVID-19 vaccine approved for trial

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China National Pharmaceutical Group Co. said its second-generation recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine has received approval from Beijing for clinical trials.

Better known as Sinopharm, the state-owned enterprise’s vaccine-developing unit, China National Biotec Group, announced the news on its WeChat account on Sunday.


Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

The improved vaccine has already been approved by the United Arab Emirates as a booster shot and enhances immune response to the coronavirus, the company said in December.

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China is currently grappling with its worst infection outbreak since the early days of the pandemic, reporting more than 13,000 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

Vice Premier Sun Chunlan arrived in the country’s virus hotspot of Shanghai to oversee prevention efforts, as she ordered officials to curtail the outbreak “as soon as possible, according to Xinhua.

Cases in the financial hub exceeded 8,000 on Saturday including 7,788 asymptomatic infections.

Shanghai will start a new round of mass testing on Monday, authorities said.

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