China OKs 1st homegrown vaccine as COVID-19 surges globally

China OKs 1st homegrown vaccine as COVID-19 surges globally
China has authorized its first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine for general use. (Source: Ben Williams)

BEIJING (AP) — China has authorized its first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine for general use, adding another shot that could see wide use in poorer countries as the virus surges back around the globe.

The Sinopharm vaccine has already been given to groups such as health care professionals and essential workers under emergency-use guidelines as part of China’s program to inoculate 50 million people before the Lunar New Year holiday in February.

But the go-ahead Thursday should allow it to be supplied more broadly at home and moves Beijing closer to being able to ship it abroad.

It comes one day after British regulators authorized AstraZeneca’s inexpensive and easy-to-handle vaccine.

Both shots have been closely watched by developing countries.

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