Inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidates developed by a Chinese pharmaceutical company are likely to be on the market by the end of December, at a price of less than 1,000 yuan (which is approximately Rs 10,000) or ($144) for two shots. The chairman of the major state-owned Chinese pharmaceutical company SinoPharm, Liu Jingzhen said the marketing review procedure will start after overseas phase III clinical trials are completed.
He said students and workers in major cities would need to get the vaccine, but not those living in sparsely populated rural areas. “Not all of the 1.4 billion people in our country have to take it,” he said in an interview published on Tuesday in the Guangming Daily.
SinoPharm, which has two vaccines in trial, has an annual manufacturing capacity of 220 million doses, Liu said.
"I have personally received two shots of the vaccine, there were no side effects," Liu Jingzhen informed. "After the inactivated vaccine enters the market, its price will not be too high, it will be around several hundred yuan. Two shots will cost about 1,000 yuan (about $144)," he added.
"If you do one shot, the probability of protection is about 97%, antibodies are developing slowly," the chairman stated. "Usually, about half a month is needed to reach the level sufficient to counter COVID-19. If you do two shots, the probability of protection may reach 100%," Russian news agency TASS quoted Liu Jingzhen as saying.
He further said the interval between the first and the second shot usually lasts 28 days. "In some exceptional cases, two injections can be done at once in the left and right arm. Four micrograms of the vaccine are injected each time," the company official informed.
Tao Lina, a Shanghai-based vaccine researcher, told the Global Times on Tuesday that voluntary self-financed vaccinations are acceptable as the epidemic in China has been kept to a very low level.
Two inactivated vaccine candidates developed by institutes under Sinopharm separately in Beijing and Wuhan were delivered into phase III clinical trials in the United Arab Emirates in June.