Hong Kong Economic Herald:
China officially launched the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines on July 22. Have they proved to be safe during the past five months? Can people rest assured to receive vaccination now? Thank you.
Zheng Zhongwei from the vaccine R&D working group will answer this question.
Zheng Zhongwei, director of the Development Center for Medical Science & Technology of the National Health Commission and a leader of the vaccine R&D working group under the State Council's inter-agency task force:
Thank you for your question. At the press conference of the State Council's inter-agency task force on Oct. 20, we already talked about this issue. We all know that the COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented global infectious pandemic that has not been encountered for a hundred years. Just as Mr. Zeng introduced, we approved the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines in accordance with laws and regulations in June to protect people at high risk, and initiated emergency vaccinations in July.
Since July, people with high exposure risks have received emergency vaccinations on the premise of voluntary, informed consent. More than one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far, and no severe adverse effects have been found during our strict monitoring and observations. More than 60,000 people who were vaccinated traveled to high-risk areas abroad and there have been no reports of severe infections. Among those vaccinated people going abroad, we have collected some cases linked to cluster infections, and found significant differences between those vaccinated and those not. Our inactivated vaccines for emergency use include two developed by the China National Biotec Group, affiliated to Sinopharm, and one by Sinovac Biotech. They are all under international phase-3 clinical trials. By now, 75,000 people overseas have been vaccinated, totaling 150,000 doses. Study results have shown no serious safety threats.
Based on those facts, we decided to start the vaccination plan among key groups of the population. Thank you.