ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Coronavirus

China in talks to have WHO assess its COVID vaccines for global use

Safety concerns arise as Beijing administers doses before finishing trials

China has at least four experimental vaccines in the final stage of clinical trials -- two developed by a state-backed group, one by Sinovac Biotech and the other by CanSino Biologics.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -- China is in talks to have its locally-produced COVID-19 vaccines assessed by the World Health Organization, as a step toward making them available for international use, a WHO official said on Tuesday.

Hundreds of thousands of essential workers and other groups considered at high risk in China have been given locally-developed vaccines even as clinical trials had not been fully completed, raising safety concerns among experts.

Socorro Escalate, WHO's coordinator for essential medicines and health technologies in the Western Pacific region, told a news conference conducted online that China had held preliminary discussions with WHO to have its vaccines included in a list for emergency use.

The WHO's emergency use listing procedure allows unlicensed vaccines and treatments to be assessed to expedite their availability in public health emergencies. This helps WHO member states and UN procurement agencies to determine the acceptability of the vaccines.

"Potentially through this emergency use listing the quality and safety of these vaccines and efficacy could be assessed. ..and then this could be made available for our licensees," Escalante said.

China has at least four experimental vaccines in the final stage of clinical trials - two are developed by state-backed China National Biotec Group (CNBG), and the remaining two are from Sinovac Biotech and CanSino Biologics respectively.

They are tested in such countries as Pakistan, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Last month, the UAE authorized the emergency use of a CNBG vaccine, the first international emergency clearance for one of China's vaccines, just six weeks after human trials began in the Gulf Arab state.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said last month it would prioritise China and Russia in his country's global shopping for a vaccine.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more