China have granted production license for a single dose of swine flu vaccine made by a domestic pharmaceutical firm as it surged ahead in the global race in search of a remedy for the deadly virus that has killed over 2,100 people worldwide.

The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) issued the license for Sinovac’s vaccine called ‘Panflu.1’ after it passed SFDA’s experts evaluation on August 31.

Panflu.1 could safely be given to people aged from 3 to 60 years old in a single shot, 15 microgram dose. “The Sinovac vaccine is officially approved,” the head of the SFDA’s registration department, Zhang Wei, told reporters. “The completion of trials for the vaccine has shown that Panflu.1 to be very safe,” the SFDA added.

Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared swine flu to be a pandemic in June, pharmaceuticals have been racing to produce a swine flu vaccine. Sinovac has the capacity to produce 5 million doses of vaccine before October 1, and 20 million to 30 million doses per year, said its President Yin Weidong.

Another Swine flu vaccine, produced by a Chinese company, Hualan Biological Engineering Inc., is also expected to be given approval this week, state-run Xinhua news agency said. The Chinese government plans to vaccinate 65 million people by the end of this year.

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