Sinovac Gives Its Covid-19 Vaccine to Thousands of Employees
What’s New: Thousands of employees of Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and their families have been injected with the company’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials, Reuters reported Sunday, citing the company’s chief executive.
Sinovac CEO Yin Weidong said the inoculations were voluntary and he and his family were among those who had taken the shot. The inoculated workers were asked about their state of health and warned beforehand about potential adverse reactions, which he said were rare.
“As a vaccine developer and manufacturer, a new outbreak could directly impact our vaccine production,” Yin told Reuters.
The Background: About 90% of Sinovac staff and their families had taken the shot, made from inactivated whole virus, which was offered under a controversial national emergency use program that began July 22.
The program allows at-risk groups such as medical personnel, epidemic prevention officials and border inspection workers to be vaccinated before large-scale clinical trials of the shots are complete.
Doing so will ideally protect them from catching Covid-19, safeguarding the health and border control system, but it brings risks of unexpected adverse impacts which researchers would expect to pick up in large-scale trials but which may have eluded smaller studies.
Authorities are mulling whether to extend the program to everyone from truck drivers to restaurant workers to head off a winter resurgence of the disease.
Sinovac’s CoronaVac shot is one of four Chinese-developed vaccines that have entered large-scale stage Phase 3 human trials, including inoculations from Sinopharm and CanSino Biotechnology. None has reported final results.
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