Experimental coronavirus vaccines have been given by China to groups that are at high risk of infection, reported a health official.
However, no vaccine has yet passed the final stage of trials. The final stage of large-scale trials will prove that the vaccine is safe and efficient enough to safeguard people from getting infected by the virus which led to deaths of 800,000 deaths worldwide.
In an interview aired on late Saturday, Zheng Zhongwei, a National Health Commission official, told state TV that their purpose is to increase the immunity of particular groups of people which include medical workers, workers of the food market and in the service and transportation sector workers.
Zheng added that authorities should think of widespread the emergency use programme to curb the possible outbreak during the winter and autumn. Zheng heads the Chinese government-led team that coordinates state resources for coronavirus vaccine development.
According to Zheng, the guidelines for using the emergency potential coronavirus vaccines approved on June 24, have not yet been made public.
In June, the State media Global Times reported that China had been providing candidate coronavirus vaccines to employees at state-owned firms travelling overseas.
However, some countries are suspicious about the use of experimental vaccines by China. Moreover, as reported by the Australian newspaper, Papua New Guinea had refused the entry of Chinese nationals who took part in a coronavirus vaccine trial.
“It does not mean that companies cannot make profits,” Zheng said. “Companies should decide on moderate profits, or reasonable profits based on costs.”
Sinopharm chairman Liu Jingzhen told state media last week that for two shots, price of a potential coronavirus vaccine produced by a unit of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) would cost no more than 1,000 yuan ($144).
Zheng said that the price of the shots of the coronavirus vaccine will definitely be lower than what Liu had said.