China gives conditional approval to Sinopharm COVID vaccine

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese health regulators have given conditional approval to a coronavirus vaccine developed by state-owned Sinopharm.

The inactivated, two-dose vaccine is the first one approved for general use in China.

The go-ahead comes as the country carries out a campaign to vaccinate 50 million people before celebrating the Lunar New Year in February.

The company earlier said preliminary data had shown the vaccine to be 79.3% effective. Conditional approval means research is still ongoing and the regulators may seek more data or restrict the vaccine for certain groups.

Sinopharm is one of at least five Chinese developers in the global race to create vaccines for the disease that has killed more than 1.8 million people.

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