China is injecting coronavirus vaccine shots to thousands of people before final regulatory approval for general use. Those who are getting these vaccine shots are also made to sign a “nondisclosure agreement”, according to which they can’t talk about it to the news media, Hindustan Times reported.
It’s unclear exactly who and how many people have been injected so far, but Chinese vaccine makers have offered some clues. State-owned Sinopharm subsidiary CNBG has given the vaccine to 350,000 people outside its clinical trials, which have about 40,000 people enrolled, a top CNBG executive said recently.
High-risk population, including staff of state-owned companies, government officials, vaccine company staff, teachers are being inoculated on an emergency basis. Global heath experts are raising questions whether their consent has are being taken or not.
Earlier, China had said that the World HEalth Organization (WHO) has supported China’s experimental coronavirus vaccine programme, which started in July. China informed WHO in June, Zheng Zhongwei, a National Health Commission official, told Reuters.
WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan has said countries can approve use of medical products within their own jurisdiction in the current emergency situation but only as a “temporary solution”.
China currently has 11 vaccines in clinical trials and four in Phrase 3 trials.Among these. two are developed by state-backed China National Biotec Group and one by Sinovac Biotech. Another experimental vaccine was developed by CanSino Biologics, which was approved to be used in the Chinese military in June.