‘Almost a million inoculated in China’

Vaccine race:People walking across a street during the morning rush hour in Beijing early this week.APAndy Wong  

Nearly a million people have taken an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by Chinese company Sinopharm, the firm said, although it has not yet provided any clear clinical evidence of efficacy.

China has been giving experimental COVID-19 vaccines to people including state employees, international students and essential workers heading abroad since July.

Sinopharm’s chairman told media this week that nearly a million people have now received their vaccine for emergency use, though he did not provide a specific figure.

“We have not received a single report of severe adverse reaction, and only a few had some mild symptoms,” Liu Jingzhen said in an interview re-published by the state-owned firm on Wednesday.

China has been bullish about the development of its vaccine for the new virus — which first emerged in the centre of the country late last year — with four vaccines now in late-stage testing.

Many of the trials are taking place overseas, as China has largely brought the virus under control within its borders. Sinopharm is testing two vaccines in late-stage trials in countries, including the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Peru and Argentina.