Chinese authorities have given conditional approval for general public use of a coronavirus vaccine developed by state-owned drugmaker Sinopharm.
The move came a day after the firm said interim data showed its leading vaccine had a 79 percent efficacy rate in phase three clinical trials, without providing more details to the media and public.
Several Chinese-made vaccines at a late trial stage are already in use in China after being granted emergency licenses.
The announcement concerning the vaccine made by the China National Pharmaceutical Group, or Sinopharm, is China’s first general approval of a homemade jab – and it is being seen as potentially a major step towards inoculating the largest population in the world.
Vice Minister of the National Health Commission Zeng Yixin said approval would allow the Chinese government to “extend vaccination to high-risk groups, those susceptible to a severe viral infection… and the elderly.”