China approves emergency usage of COVID-19 vaccines

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China has authorised emergency usage of COVID-19 vaccines developed by some select domestic companies, a Chinese health official has said.

An emergency use authorisation, which is based on Chinese vaccine management law, allows unapproved vaccine candidates to be used among people who are at high risk of getting infected on a limited period.

“We’ve drawn up a series of plan packages, including medical consent forms, side-effects monitoring plans, rescuing plans, compensation plans, to make sure that the emergency use is well regulated and monitored,” Zheng Zhongwei, head of China’s coronavirus vaccine development task force, told state-run CCTV on  Saturday.

One month has passed since China officially launched the urgent use of COVID-19 vaccines on July 22, while the vaccines were going through clinical trials, Zheng said. Recipients who got their first dose since then revealed they had few adverse reactions and none reported a fever. According to China’s Law on Vaccine Management, when a particularly severe public health emergency occurs, vaccines in clinical trials can be used in a limited scope to protect medical and epidemic prevention personnel, border officers and other people working in stable city operations, Zheng said. State-run Global Times has previously reported that employees of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) preparing to go abroad and frontline medics have been offered two choices of domestic inactivated vaccine candidates developed by Sinopharm for urgent use.