An interim analysis of the phase 3 clinical trial showed that the vaccine is safe and that people who received the two doses produced high-level antibodies, according to a statement published Wednesday by Beijing Biological Products Institute Co. , A subsidiary of Sinopharm.
The company said it is seeking formal approval from Chinese regulators to distribute the vaccine to the public.
By November, nearly a million people had received the Sinopharm vaccine, according to the company’s president, although he did not specify which vaccines they had received from the company.
Although few details were provided, the statement released on Wednesday said the vaccine meets the standards of the World Health Organization and the Chinese regulatory authority, the National Medical Products Administration.
A step closer to mass subtraction
Sinopharm results were announced weeks after its global competitors. With no details, it remains unclear whether the information provided will be sufficient to dispel doubts about the quality of the Chinese vaccines.
However, the announcement could pave the way for the vaccine to be launched on a large scale within China and the world.
China is ready to send hundreds of millions of doses to countries that have conducted last-phase trials of leading candidate vaccines. Chinese leaders have also promised a growing list of priority access developing countries.
Analysts say Beijing is using the global campaign as a tool of soft power to try to repair any damage to its image from its early mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.
In China, there are five coronavirus candidates from four companies that have reached stage 3 clinical trials, which is the last and most important step in testing before seeking regulatory approval. After the spread of the Coronavirus within their borders has been largely eliminated, Chinese pharmaceutical companies have had to search abroad for places to test the effectiveness of their vaccines. Together, they launched Phase 3 trials in at least 16 countries.
Two of Sinopharm’s candidate vaccines are undergoing phase 3 trials in 10 countries, mostly in the Middle East and South America.
Compared to Pfizer and Moderna, Sinopharm vaccines do not require freezing temperatures for storage, which makes transportation and distribution much easier – especially in developing countries that lack cold storage capabilities.
CNN’s Beijing office contributed to the reports.