More than 43 million doses of China's Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines used globally

Containers with the Covid-19 produced by China's Sinopharm are stored in the logistics centre of Hungarian pharmaceutical wholesaler Hungaropharma in Budapest, Hungary, on Feb 16, 2021.
Containers with the Covid-19 produced by China's Sinopharm are stored in the logistics centre of Hungarian pharmaceutical wholesaler Hungaropharma in Budapest, Hungary, on Feb 16, 2021.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING (REUTERS, XINHUA) - More than 43 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from China's state-backed China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) have been used, including more than 34 million administered in the country and the rest overseas, official media said on Sunday (Feb 21).

China National Biotec Group Company (CNBG), a Sinopharm unit, has two Covid-19 vaccines. One of them is developed by its Beijing unit and has been approved for general public use in China and emergency use in several countries including Iraq, Pakistan and Morocco.

The other vaccine, developed by the company's Wuhan unit, has also obtained China's green light for emergency use targeting mainly select groups with higher virus exposure risk.

"Up to now, over 43 million vaccine doses from Sinopharm CNBG have been used... with over 34 million doses administered within China," China Central Television (CCTV) said.

Apart from the two products, China has two other vaccines - developed by Sinovac Biotech and CanSino Biologics - that have been approved overseas, as it ramps up supply for developing countries battling a surge in coronavirus infections.

These vaccines can be stored at normal freezer temperatures, making them a potentially attractive option to many developing countries, which struggle to use rival products such as vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which require much colder temperatures for longer-term storage.

China is providing vaccine assistance to 53 developing countries and has export deals with 22 countries, its foreign ministry said last week.

Indonesia is among the biggest buyers of Chinese vaccines with a deal for 125 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine.

The Argentine government on Sunday officially approved the emergency use of Sinopharm's Covid-19 vaccine.

Donations of Chinese vaccines have been made to several countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Congo Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Namibia, as it aims to cultivate goodwill with lower-income countries.