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South China Morning Post

Coronavirus: China’s companies ‘set to export 400 million vaccine doses’

Drug manufacturers in China have arrangements to supply nearly 400 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to other countries, as phased roll-out worldwide and governments scramble for access to injections. These leading Chinese companies – China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), Sinovac Biotech and CanSino Biologics – have made those deals for supply countries in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, according to public data collected by British analytics firm Airfinity and Duke Global Health Innovation Center in the United States. The deals come in parallel. Beijing’s diplomatic promise of Chinese-made vaccines is a “global public good” for developing countries. Keep up to date with the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Experts say the political will and capacity of the industry means that China could play a significant role in improving the limited global supply of Covid-19 vaccines. But questions remain about vaccine effectiveness and data transparency, as well as how Beijing will balance its foreign goals with vaccinating its 1.4 billion domestic population. In a briefing at the weekend, health officials said China had not yet approved any of its home countries. vaccine candidates for general use, but some applicants had collected enough data for interim analysis of their phase 3 trials and this was being submitted to regulators for review on a rolling basis. Chinese vaccine developers file for approval before mass vaccinations Nevertheless, doses of Chinese-developed vaccines have already begun to be shipped worldwide, with countries that helped clinical trials for Chinese companies among those with early access . Brazil and Indonesia have both received loads of candidate Sinovac in recent weeks. Both countries are conducting phase 3 trials and have yet to approve the vaccine, whose test data is expected within days. This month, Egypt received its first batch of Covid-19 vaccine developed under state-owned Sinopharm and shipped from the UAE, which conducted a clinical trial and approval of the vaccine on December 9. Public vaccinations have already launched in the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi, according to local media reports. Health authorities cited an 86 percent efficiency in a provisional phase 3 analysis, although the company has not yet released data. Another test site, Bahrain, has also approved the vaccine. Other countries that have agreements for doses developed by Chinese companies include Mexico, Morocco, Chile, Indonesia, Singapore and Turkey. Indonesia is leading in size, with 125.5 million doses of Sinovac, 60 million Sinopharm and 20 million CanSino. There may be other deals that have not been announced. That’s at stake for China in rolling out its vaccines abroad, according to health security researcher Nicholas Thomas, who highlights China’s “difficult year” diplomatically as it argues with global scrutiny of its early coverage of the cases, first identified in Wuhan city in central China. “Successful deployment of their vaccines worldwide will help ease some of those tensions,” said Thomas, an associate professor at Hong Kong University City. “Domestically, the vaccines help support the narrative that the government is doing [making] a significant effort to alleviate the global unrest and turmoil caused by Covid-19. “But navigating foreign commitments to domestic needs will be a” balancing act “that Beijing needs to manage well, according to Xiaoqing Boynton, Washington’s vice president of consultancy Albright Stonebridge Group. “China does not currently have an active case, so in terms of prioritization you have a domestic agenda, however you are also dealing with very hot spots globally, including areas of strategic importance to China,” he said. Boynton, which focuses on China’s health and life science sectors. In a briefing on Saturday, National Health Commission official Zheng Zhongwei said China had made “relevant arrangements in designing vaccine production capacity” to support vaccine access abroad. Vaccines for the vulnerable world no guarantee of ‘silver bullet’: WHOThe commission said in September that China could produce 610 million doses this year and one billion next year, but it remains unclear whether it will a certain number of those earmarked for export. not providing those figures at the weekend. Zheng said effectiveness data would be released to the public “in time” after the trials were unrelated. This will be critical for understanding what role they could play in the global Covid-19 vaccine supply, according to John Donnelly, head at Vaccinology Consulting in the United States. “That data is very important. Until people have had a chance to review it, no one can really make any conclusions one way or another, ”he said. Unlike the mRNA technology used in vaccines that received urgent approval in the US by Pfizer and Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac rely on inactivity. a virus platform, familiar to many manufacturers in developing countries. “If [those vaccines] turn out to work well and be relatively simple to produce, then there is quite significant potential for local manufacturers … to build the capacity to produce them for their own region or country, ”said Donnelly, notes that this technology transfer could be a key way for China to contribute to global vaccine supply. Boynton, of the Stonebridge Stone Group, said that “transparency is the key” to building the level of public trust and confidence in vaccines in China, not least because China’s vaccine industry has faced security scandals in recent years. . But there has also been significant investment from China to position itself as a contributor to Covid-19 vaccination internationally, he said. “This is a unique opportunity for Chinese industry to demonstrate its credentials, in terms of safety and quality standards, and become a trusted supplier of vaccines on a global scale,” said Boynton. Additional reports from ReutersMore from South China Morning Post: * Coronavirus: Ch is ready for 100 million doses of BioNTech vaccine in the middle of delivering shots abroad * Coronavirus: WHO has access to nearly 2 billion doses of several ‘promising’ vaccine candidates * China is keeping watch on travel warning as tourism industry prepares for first post- coronavirus holiday season * Coronavirus: Donald Trump says US Moderna Covid-19 vaccine ‘overwhelmingly approved’ Appeared this article Coronavirus: China’s companies ‘first to export 400 million doses of vaccine’ on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download of our mobile app. Copyright 2020.