BEIJING (AP) — China has approved its first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine for general use, marking the addition of another vaccine as the virus surges back around the world.
The two-dose vaccine from state-owned Sinopharm is the first approved in China.
The go-ahead comes shortly after the country launched a program to vaccinate 50 million people before the Lunar New Year holiday in February.
It also comes one day after British regulators authorized AstraZeneca’s inexpensive and easy-to-handle vaccine.
The back-to-back approvals could bring poorer countries one step closer to getting vaccines sooner.
Sinopharm says preliminary data from last-stage trials had shown the vaccine to be 79.3% effective.
Experts say data such as the size of the control group and how many were vaccinated is missing.