China expands rollout of domestic-made Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

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Chinese officials have expanded the rollout of its domestic-made Sinovac coronavirus vaccine so people other than just those in high risk and priority groups can get it.

Regulators gave conditional approval to Sinovac Biotech Ltd’s shot, CoronaVac, on Friday, the National Medical Products Administration said Saturday.

The Sinovac vaccine is already available in at least 10 other countries and is being administered in at least five other countries. The shot was given emergency approval in China last July for medical workers and employees of state-owned firms, among others, the AP reported.

Research is still ongoing into Sinovac, however. The company must submit data as well as reports of any adverse effects after the vaccine is sold on the market.

Sinovac officials have been accused of a lack of transparency because of conflicting efficacy data for its vaccine in different countries. Officials in Turkey, where part of the stage 3 clinical trials were staged, have said the efficacy rate was 91.25 percent.

But a study in Brazil showed that the Sinovac vaccine was just 50 percent effective.

Last month, China stoked fears about the safety of Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot to deflect from controversy over its own vaccine, according to a report.

So far the company has only released stage 1 and stage 2 data for its vaccine.

Full clinical trial data for the stage 3 trials will be released later in a peer-reviewed journal, Sinovac officials said.

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