China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) chairman Liu Jingzhen said its inactivated coronavirus vaccine will be ready for approval after phase III clinical trials and is expected to be on the market by the end of December this year.
According to the Guangming Daily newspaper, the inactivated coronavirus vaccine production plant of the China National Biotec Group (CNBG), a Sinopharm unit, has passed China's joint biosafety inspection and is now ready for use.
"The price of the inactivated vaccine will not be very high when it hits the market, and it is expected to cost several hundred dollars a shot. If two shots are given, the price should be less than 1,000 yuan ($144)," The newspaper cited Liu as saying.
With one shot of the vaccine, the protection rate is about 97%. Usually about half a month is enough to get to a level where you can fight the new coronavirus. If you get two doses of vaccine, the protection rate can reach 100 percent, Liu said.
The interval between the first and second dose of vaccine is usually 28 days, but under special circumstances, one dose can be given to the left arm and the other to the right arm at the same time. The dose of one vaccine shot is 4 micrograms.
But not everyone has to get the shot, he said, adding it's necessary for students and office workers living in densely populated cities, while people living in sparsely populated rural areas don't need to get it.
Liu did not mention whether the state-backed insurance program would cover some of the vaccine costs, or whether it could be included in the country's free vaccination scheme.
On August 6, the World Health Organization said there were about 165 vaccines in the world at that time in the trial phase, 26 in clinical trials and six already in phase III clinical trials, three of which were from China.
Special Report: Fighting The New Coronavirus