BEIJING, March 15 (Reuters) - A COVID-19 vaccine developed
by the Institute of Microbiology of Chinese Academy of Sciences
(IMCAS) has obtained the greenlight for emergency use in China,
the institute said on Monday, marking the country's fifth
vaccine eligible for some scale of use.
The ZF2001 vaccine, being tested in a late-stage clinical
trial aiming to recruit 29,000 participants across China,
Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ecuador, has been approved
for use in Uzbekistan earlier this month.
China's vaccine administration law allows emergency use
"within certain scope and time limit" of vaccines amid major
health crisis. Among the four vaccines China has approved for
general public use, three had been approved for small-scale
emergency vaccination before gaining clearance for inoculating
the wider public.
IMCAS's statement did not specify which specific groups will
have access to the vaccine.
The vaccine, which is jointly developed by IMCAS and a unit
of Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products, was found
to be safe and triggered immune responses in early and mid-stage
human tests, according to a paper published last year ahead of
China, which has been accelerating efforts to vaccinate its
population against COVID-19, had administered about 65 million
doses as of Sunday.
The country is yet to approve a vaccine developed by foreign
(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo, editing by Louise