CHINA TO PROVIDE FREE COVID-19 VACCINE TO RESIDENTS

China will provide COVID-19 vaccines for free to the Chinese public as the first vaccine has been granted conditional marketing approval for the general population, said Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, at a press conference on Thursday. 

China's Medical Products Administration on Wednesday granted conditional marketing authorization to a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Beijing Biological Products Institute Co., Ltd. under the China National Biotec Group (CNBG), which is affiliated with Sinopharm.

The approved inactivated vaccine has showed 79.34 percent efficacy against COVID-19, according to the interim results of the phase-3 clinical trials unveiled by its developer on Wednesday.

China has to date adopted five technological approaches in developing COVID-19 vaccines, with 14 vaccines entering clinical trials, of which five are undergoing phase-3 clinical trials, Xu Nanping, vice minister of science and technology, told the press conference.