China Approves Its First Coronavirus Vaccine

China this week approved the first coronavirus vaccine to be developed in the country, officials from the National Medical Products Administration announced during a press conference on Thursday, according to Bloomberg.

The agency has approved for general use a vaccine developed by China National Biotec Group Co., which is a state-owned unit of Sinopharm. The vaccine had previously been authorized for emergency use earlier this year.

CNBG plans to release more data about the vaccine in recognized international medical journals, the company’s president, Wu Yonglin, said on Thursday.

“We can’t simply compare whether Chinese vaccines are better or overseas ones,” added Zheng Zhongwei, an official with the National Health Commission. “Only by comprehensively evaluating the the safety, efficacy, accessibility and affordability of each can we make a scientific review.”

“Vaccines are by their nature a public good and the price will vary according to the scale of usage,” said Zeng Yixin, the vice minister of China’s National Health Commission. “But the broader premise is that it will be offered for free to all the population.”

Although state media has reported that the vaccine will be available to Chinese citizens for free, Zeng did not provide details or confirm these reports.

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