National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) announced on July 16 that the administration plans to fully promote the development and commercialization of COVID-19 vaccines and to monitor the drug safety responsibilities of all related individuals and companies, as reported by Yicai on the same day. Currently, out of the four COVID-19 vaccines that are in phase III clinical trial globally, two vaccines are from Chinese domestic companies, which are Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech [SVA:US] and state-owned Sinopharm, respectively.
Sinopharm’s Wuhan Institute of Biological Products announced on July 1 that its COVID-19 vaccines R&D and production facility finished construction, with planned output reaching no less than 100m doses annually. In addition, Sinopharm’s Beijing COVID-19 vaccine production facility was completed in late May, which pushed the combined production capacity of the state-owned enterprise to over 200m doses of COVID-19 vaccines per year. Sinovac also announced that its coronavirus vaccine plant will be completed by the end of 2020, capable of producing up to 100m vaccines per year. Notably, NMPA’s plan was released after President Xi’s announcement on May 18 at the meeting of the 73rd World Health Organizations (WHO) video conference to use Chinese COVID-19 vaccines as a global public product, helping with vaccine accessibility in developing countries.