Sinovac's vaccine Photograph:( Reuters )
Prior to the approvals, both vaccines have already been used in China's vaccination program mainly targeting key groups deemed to be at higher risk of exposure to the virus
China's drug authorities have given "conditional" market approval for a second Covid-19 vaccine, Sinovac's CoronaVac jab, the pharmaceutical company said Saturday.
The approval comes after multiple domestic and overseas trials of the vaccine in countries including Brazil and Turkey, although "efficacy and safety results need to be further confirmed", Sinovac said in a statement.
The protection rate for 1,394 participants who received doses of either CoronaVac or placebo three weeks apart was nearly 70 per cent, a Sinovac spokesman said.
It marks the second COVID-19 vaccine green-lighted for public use in China after a shot developed by a Beijing institute affiliated to state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) was approved in December.
The approval is based on the two-month results from late-stage clinical trials overseas, from which the final analysis data has not yet been obtained, Sinovac said.
Prior to the approvals, both vaccines have already been used in China's vaccination program mainly targeting key groups deemed to be at higher risk of exposure to the virus.
While Sinovac's researchers had said early-stage trials showed a four-week interval induced the stronger antibody response than two weeks, this is the first time the company has released efficacy data from a Phase III trial with dosing patterns that differ from its trial protocol.
Sinovac has yet to release global results of its Phase III trials, but its COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use in several countries, including Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey.