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BioNTech Vaccine Mass Production May Get Go-ahead Before July in China

2021/5/14 18:00:13 Views:307

The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine co-developed by German-based BioNTech and China's Fosun Pharma can be rolled out in the Chinese mainland very quickly once it receives authorization, as key steps for mass production are close to ready. It is highly likely that the vaccine, named BNT162b2, will be approved in China before July, noting that relevant preparations including the production plant and cold-chain delivery drills are in progress.


On Wednesday, Shanghai Party chief Li Qiang held a virtual conference with BioNTech founder and CEO Uğur Şahin, a positive sign for the vaccine's landing in the cit. The source said that launching of the co-developed vaccine in China will be carried out in three steps: approval for import and marketing, shipment of 100 million doses under an order signed before, and attempts by Fosun Pharma to produce the vaccine in China to meet local demand. The company is planning a storage plant in the Pudong New Area of Shanghai, which has already been equipped with more than 100 refrigerators for storage, noting that drills on cold-chain transportation systems have been done many times to prepare for a future launch. 


China has five vaccines in use as part of its mass inoculation campaign - three inactivated vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac, a one-shot vaccine from CanSino, and a recombinant subunit vaccine from Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical. 

The Fosun Pharma/BioNTech vaccine is expected to be the first foreign-developed COVID-19 vaccine that China will import. Previously, Fosun Pharm has submitted the clinical trial data and relevant materials to China's state regulator for reviews. Experts said that approval of such imports could deepen the domestic vaccine pool and help facilitate reciprocal vaccine recognition. China's leading physician-scientist and immunologist Shao Yiming serving at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the imported mRNA vaccine would pave the way for mixed jabs in sequential inoculation, considering its efficacy. 


The Fosun Pharma/BioNTech vaccine has been authorized for use or emergency use in multiple countries and regions including the US, the UK, Bahrain, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government reached an agreement with Fosun Pharma in 2020 to purchase up to 7.5 million doses of the vaccine. 


The partnership and co-development of mRNA technology between Fosun Pharma and BioNTech is expected to be further applied in cross-national cooperation on more medical projects such as cancer vaccines, the source suggested.