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COVID-19 vaccine: China 'started vaccinating' its people since July end

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Beijing, Aug 25: With Russia facing criticism for approving the novel coronavirus vaccine without completing all the required tests, reports claim that China has already begun vaccination for its people which is still under development.

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The vaccine, developed by state-owned Sinopharm, is currently undergoing Phase Three trials in the United Arab Emirates. However, the Chinese health official have allegedly said the vaccine is already being administered to people since July 22 under emergency use authorisation.

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    According to a report from The Washington Post, the head of China's coronavirus vaccine development programme, Zheng Zongwei had acknowledged on state television that medical workers and a few government workers were being given the underdeveloping vaccine since July 22, and that it was likely to be given to many more people in the coming months.

    "In order to prevent the disease spread in the fall and winter, we are considering a moderate expansion in the programme... The purpose would be to first build and immunity barrier among special groups in the population," Zheng is reported to have said.

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    However, it is said to be believed that the vaccine is different from the one that has been approved for use only on the soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). But, there is no information on the number of people who have already been injected with that vaccine.

    Pharma major AstraZeneca has said it had not held any talks with the US government on emergency use authorisation for its vaccine before the Presidential elections on November 03.

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    On Sunday, a report in the Financial Times claimed that Donald Trump administration had decided to grant emergency use authorisation to the AstraZeneca vaccine, being developed in collaboration with the Oxford University, ahead of the elections.

    On Saturday, the US President had accused the "deep state" within the Food and Drug Administration, for deliberately delaying the approval to the vaccine to sabotage his re-election chances. Earlier, he has suggested that it was possible that a vaccine would become a reality before the elections.

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