China approves first domestic mRNA vaccine for COVID-19

BEIJING: China has approved its first locally developed messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine against COVID-19, its manufacturer said Wednesday (Mar 22), months after the relaxation of strict zero-COVID regulations sparked a surge in cases.

The vaccine, developed by CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, has been approved for “emergency use” by Beijing’s health regulator, the company said in a statement.

It showed high efficacy in a trial in which it was used as a booster shot for people who have been given other types of vaccines, the company added.

According to CSPC, a study of 4,000 participants from Dec 10 to Jan 18, when China was going through a surge in infections, the vaccine showed an efficacy of 85.3 per cent 14 to 28 days after a booster vaccination.

The company did not say how many doses it plans to produce. 

mRNA vaccines are considered among the most effective in reducing severe infections and deaths.

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