A doctor collects blood sample from volunteers who have been inoculated for inactivated vaccines. /CFP
A Chinese health official Saturday confirmed the country authorized emergency usage of COVID-19 vaccines developed by some select domestic companies on July 22.
“We’ve drawn up a series of plan packages, including medical consent forms, side-effects monitoring plans, rescuing plans, compensation plans, to make sure the emergency use is well regulated and monitored,” Zheng Zhongwei, head of China’s coronavirus vaccine development task force told CCTV.
An emergency use authorization, which is based on Chinese vaccine management law, allows unapproved vaccine candidates to be used among people who are at high risk of getting infected on a limited period
By first inoculating the special groups, like frontline medical workers and civil servants, the move is to ensure that a city can keep normal functions when a health crisis strikes, the law stated.
Similar authorizations have been legalized in many countries. For example, U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows unapproved medical products to be used in an emergency to diagnose, treat or prevent life-threatening disease or conditions.
The national agency has used several emergency use authorizations since the coronavirus outbreak as a way to get many diagnostic tests more quickly to the market than the normal procedures.
“We are planning to scale up the inoculating group to better prepare for a possible next wave in autumn and winter,” Zheng added.
Zheng Zhongwei, head of China’s coronavirus vaccine development task force talks about vaccines on CCTV. /Screenshot
New vaccine approved for human trials
A new coronavirus vaccine cultivated within insect cells by West China Hospital of Sichuan University in Chengdu has been approved for human trial, according to local government on Saturday.
Using insect cells to grow proteins for the coronavirus vaccine – a first in China – could speed up large-scale production, the Chengdu city government said in a notice on its official WeChat account.
Animal tests have shown promising results in preventing coronavirus infection, the notice said, and no obvious side effects have found.
Over 20,000 volunteers in vaccine clinical trials
According to China’s National Medical Products Administration, at least eight potential coronavirus vaccines have entered different stages of clinical trials.
In an interview with CCTV, Yang Xiaoming, chief scientist of China’s vaccine development and CEO of China National Biotec Group (CNBG) said they’ve signed agreements with many countries on inactivated vaccine clinical trials over the past few months.
“Over 20,000 people has been vaccinated,” Yang added, “Vaccine safety is well guaranteed; the effectiveness is being closely monitored.”
The company announced on late Friday Argentina joined Peru, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in approving Phase 3 clinical trials for their inactivated coronavirus vaccine.
The experimental vaccine by CNBG received approval from the UAE in June for a Phase 3 trial and has since recruited 15,000 volunteers, according to the company.