(p. A8) The United Arab Emirates has become the first country outside China to approve emergency usage of a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine candidate, in a vote of confidence for a state-backed drugmaker racing global rivals to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
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Tao Lina, a former immunologist with the Shanghai CDC, said in an interview that it makes sense for authorities to approve the usage of Chinese vaccines that have proved safe during the first two phases of clinical trials, given the scale of the Covid-19 crisis. Unlike medical drug treatments, vaccines work by triggering a person’s own immunity, he said. “I’m not at all worried about the safety of the vaccines,” Mr. Tao said.
While the level of efficacy of the Chinese vaccines being used including those of Sinopharm isn’t yet clear, Mr. Tao said the Chinese vaccines’ ability to induce the body to produce antibodies during previous clinical trials meant that they were highly likely to confer some degree of protection from the virus.
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(Note: the online version of the story was updated Sep. 15, 2020, and has the title “In Global Covid-19 Vaccine Race, Chinese Shot Receives First Foreign Approval.”)