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China gives unproven COVID-19 vaccine to thousands despite concerns

02:05 PM Sep 27, 2020 | FPJ Web Desk

While world is waiting for a vaccine on deadly coronavirus, China has been administering unproven COVID-19 vaccines to hundreds of thousands of people.

China has been administering experimental COVID-19 vaccines to hundreds of thousands of people since July under an emergency use programme approved by the Chinese government before their safety and efficacy were proven by clinical trials. Experts and vaccine developers have warned against the premature authorisation of coronavirus vaccines before last-stage trials are completed.

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But the Chinese government in its defence said that the World Health Organization supported China’s experimental coronavirus vaccine programme, which started in July.

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According to CNN, Zheng Zhongwei, an official with China's National Health Commission, said on Friday that China's cabinet, the State Council, has approved a trial plan for the emergency use of Covid-19 vaccines in June end.

Zhongwei further said that after the approval, they communicated and informed the relevant representatives from the WHO office in China and gained the understanding and support of the WHO.

"Countries have autonomy according to their national regulations and legislations to issue emergency use authorisations for any health product, and China and other countries have already done so for different products," Mariangela Simao, WHO's Assistant Director-General for access to medicines and health products, said in a press conference.

China has been one of the biggest players in the global race to develop a coronavirus vaccine. According to reports, it currently has 11 vaccines in clinical trials stage and four in Phase 3 trials stage. Globally, there are 38 vaccines in human trials stage, among which nine have reached the last stage of testing, according to the WHO.

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