VShina has approved its first messenger RNA vaccine for Covid-19, erasing a shot from a local drugmaker that is harnessing the powerful technology months after the world’s most populous nation dropped pandemic curbs.
The mRNA vaccine, developed by CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd. has been approved for emergency use, according to a company statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
The milestone comes years after mRNA vaccines became commonplace in the rest of the world, and more than three months after China became the latest country to abandon strict Covid measures, leading to a massive wave of infection. which experts say has caused at least hundreds of thousands of deaths.
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Low vaccination rates for many high-risk people and the use of less effective vaccines made with traditional technology have potentially made the Chinese wave more deadly. Not having an mRNA vaccine has long been seen as a major shortcoming for Beijing. The regulatory blessing for the CSPC vaccine fills this gap, while reinforcing the country’s reliance solely on local vaccines to immunize its 1.4 billion people.
The Chinese government did not approve the mRNA vaccine co-developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc., despite a flurry of data and applications filed by local partner Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. Instead, it relied on inactivated vaccines developed by the local state. owner of drugmaker Sinopharm and privately held Sinovac Biotech Ltd. during most of the pandemic.
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