UK Officials Take Delivery of Batches of COVID-19 Vaccine Photo: LiveMint.Com

Batches of COVID-19 vaccine arrive UK as China’s Sinovac gets $500m funding

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the European country is set for a rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the global the world closely watches the immunisation programme beginning Tuesday, batches of the leading Pfizer-BioNTech Coronavirus vaccine arrived in the United Kingdom (UK) in super-cold containers Sunday, December 6, 2020.

ConsumerConnect gathered that the vaccine developed by American drug maker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech was sent to hospitals across Britain.

About 800,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to be in place for the start of the roll-out Tuesday, a day that British Health Secretary Matt Hancock has reportedly dubbed as “V-Day,” a nod to triumphs in World War II, agency report said.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s National Medical Director, said: “Despite the huge complexities, hospitals will kickstart the first phase of the largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history from Tuesday.

“The first tranche of vaccine deliveries will be landing at hospitals in readiness.”

It is recalled that the UK recently became the first Western country to authorise the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine for emergency use.

In trials, the vaccine was reported to have around 95pc efficacy. Vaccinations will be administered at about 50 hospital hubs in England, according to report.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also begin their vaccination roll-outs the same day.

COVID Vaccine Storage in the UK

Meanwhile, governments and health agencies around the world, it was learnt, will be monitoring the British vaccination programme to note its successes and failures and adjust their own plans accordingly.

The United States also hopes to start vaccinations later this month.

British regulatory authorities are also examining data on vaccines made by Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford University.

The excitement in Britain, which has Europe’s highest virus-related death toll at more than 61,000, was palpable.

Meanwhile, China’s Sinovac has received $500million funding for COVID-19 vaccine, as the company disclosed that its Coronavirus vaccine reached critical milestones in clinical trials in Asia and Latin America respectively.

A leading Chinese vaccine developer Sinovac Life Sciences Co. Monday said that the company had secured about $500 million in funds from Sino Biopharmaceutical for the development, manufacturing, and capacity expansion of the COVID-19 vaccine, Anadolu Agency said.

Weidong Yin, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sinovac, in a statement said: “We have made significant progress in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate CoronaVac, which has reached critical milestones in clinical trials in Asia and Latin America.

“In addition to funding the CoronaVac, this new strategic partnership with Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited further enables us to improve our vaccine sales capabilities, expand in Asia markets, develop and access new technologies, and most importantly, accelerate our efforts to help combat the global pandemic.”

Sinovac Life Sciences Co. is a subsidiary company of Sinovac Biotech Limited, a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in China.

The drug maker expects to manufacture 300 million doses annually and aims to complete the construction of a second production facility by the end of 2020 to increase the annual production capacity of CoronaVac to 600 million doses.

Depending on market conditions and the availability of financing, the company may seek to further expand its production capacity in the future, according to the statement.

It also noted that phase III clinical trials for vaccines developed by Sinovac were approved in Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey, and Chile.

In China, with phase I and phase II trials conducted, the results showed the vaccine candidate could induce neutralizing antibodies among over 90% of volunteers who received two doses of vaccination, both in adults and the elderly.

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