Fearing a new wave of covid-19, China wants to expand the use of vaccines for testing to hundreds of thousands of people. The Asian country has already authorized the emergency use of three vaccines developed by Chinese companies China National Biotec Group Co. and Sinovac. The latter is responsible for the development of the coronavac, in tests in Brazil and which will be produced by the Butantã Institute.
For the Chinese authorities, the offer of vaccines still in clinical trials is justified by the risk of returning covid-19 through travelers and also by the safety shown by vaccines in the studies so far. Where the new coronavirus appeared, China today registers, on average, less than 20 new cases per day, many imported, but it fears new local outbreaks.
The emergency use of vaccines was authorized in July, initially for workers in essential services and at high risk of exposure to the virus, such as health professionals and border agents.
Since then, experimental vaccines have also been made available to employees of state-owned companies and members of the Army and should now begin to be offered to students who plan to travel abroad and, in some regions, to anyone. Sinovac, for example, has already registered in two Chinese cities for residents interested in taking the vaccine in tests.
A China National Biotec Group Co., which opened registrations for Chinese who intend to study abroad, has already registered the enrollment of 168,000 interested in taking the immunizer. Considering all the groups authorized to receive the experimental vaccine, more than 350 thousand have already been immunized by the company, in addition to the 40 thousand that participate in clinical research.
At a news conference on Tuesday, the director of development of the coronavirus vaccine at the National Health Commission of China, Zheng Zhongwei, said participants in emergency vaccine use programs are monitored for notification of any adverse reactions. He pointed out, however, that no major symptoms have been reported so far, only low fever and skin rashes.
According to Zhongwei, the parameters for emergency vaccine use in China were approved after rigorous deliberation among vaccine and ethics experts, and also obtained support from the World Health Organization (WHO). /BLOOMBERG E ASSOCIATED PRESS