Sinovac Biotech Ltd.'s COVID-19 vaccine candidate was authorized for emergency use in China under a program to immunize high-risk populations, including medical frontliners, Reuters reported Aug. 28.
Also, China National Biotec Group Co. Ltd., a unit of state-owned Sinopharm Group Co. Ltd. received emergency use authorization for a coronavirus vaccine, the report noted, citing a company announcement on social media app WeChat.
The Chinese government rolled out the vaccination program in July, Reuters added. A local health official told state media that authorities are eyeing modestly expanding the emergency use program to prevent potential outbreaks in the autumn and winter.
In June, Chinese media reported that staff at state-owned companies who need to travel abroad could receive one of the two vaccine candidates being assessed by China National Biotec in late-stage studies. Meanwhile, CanSino Biologics Inc.'s vaccine has been cleared for use by China's military, the report added.
Shanghai Junshi Biosciences Co. Ltd. and Alphamab Oncology are also among Chinese companies developing a vaccine for the coronavirus.
As of Aug. 28, China has reported more than 89,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with the death toll reaching 4,700, data from Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering showed. Worldwide, there have been over 24.4 million people infected with the coronavirus, resulting in at least 832,400 deaths.