Health Desk- 07 Sep 2020: About 90 percent of Sinovac Biotech Ltd employees and their families have taken an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese firm under the country's emergency use programme, its chief executive said on Sunday.
The extent of inoculations under the emergency programme, which China launched in July but has released few details about, points to how actively it is using experimental vaccines in the hopes of protecting essential workers against a potential Covid-19 resurgence, even as trials are still underway.
The programme is intended for specific groups, including medical staffers and those who work at food markets and in the transportation and service sectors.
Sinovac, whose CoronaVac is in Phase 3 clinical trials and has been included in the emergency scheme, offered the candidate vaccine to approximately 2,000 to 3,000 employees and their families on a voluntary basis, CEO Yin Weidong told Reuters.
Side effects after taking CoronaVac include fatigue, fever and pain, with mostly mild symptoms, according to results of a mid-stage trial sponsored by Sinovac, involving 600 participants and published last month ahead of peer review.
No vaccine has passed final, large-scale trials to prove it is effective and safe enough to protect people against the virus that has led to over 870,000 deaths globally.