China urges WHO to assess its potential Covid-19 vaccines for global use

Beijing, Oct 6 (efe-epa).- China has sought talks with the World Health Organization to assess locally-produced anti-Covid-19 vaccines to be used globally, a WHO official said Tuesday.

Socorro Escalante, WHO’s essential medicines coordinator in the western Pacific region, told reporters in a virtual press conference that the Chinese government had authorized four vaccines for use in emergencies.

“China has already approached the WHO on preliminary discussion whereby China may participate in the list of emergency use of these vaccines,” Escalante said.

He said the quality and safety of these vaccines and their efficacy could be assessed in a list for emergency use before making them available “for our licensing in (other) countries.”

The official said China’s “willingness to discuss with the WHO on the potential emergency use listing is a very good indication of the solidarity in this region or to support other countries to have access to the vaccines.”

The emergency use listing procedure is requested by manufacturers to expedite the market availability of new vaccines for possible treatment in public health emergencies – in this case, the Covid-19 pandemic.

The procedure helps WHO to examine if a potential drug or vaccine complies with the requirements for use by its member states.

“We appreciate that countries are really moving forward in terms of the research and development and potential licensing and deployment of these vaccines to (other) countries,” Escalante said.

Asked if Chinese immunogens would be available to its Asian neighbors sooner, the WHO representative said the principles were the same for all vaccines manufactured in the world.

“The goal of the WHO is to ensure that all countries have access to the earliest vaccines that are proven to be safe, effective, and of good quality in the market.”

China has developed five possible vaccines against Covid-19 and is in the last phase of their clinical trials.

State companies are developing four of these and the fifth is a collaboration between the Chinese Fosun, the German Biotech, and the American Pfizer.

An official of China National Biotec Group, a state company that is developing two of the vaccines, said last month that they had administered at least two experimental vaccines to “hundreds of thousands of Chinese” as part of a program of emergency use without infections or side effects. EFE-EPA


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