Sinopharm says may be able to make over 1 billion coronavirus vaccine doses in 2021

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Liu Jingzhen, chairman of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), attends a news conference on vaccines for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Beijing, China October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

BEIJING (Reuters) – China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), one of several Chinese firms developing coronavirus vaccines, said it may have the capacity to produce more than 1 billion doses in 2021, Chairman Liu Jingzhen said on Tuesday.

About 60,000 people have received Chinese coronavirus vaccine candidates during Phase III clinical trials, with no serious side effects reported so far, Tian Baoguo, an official at China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, said at the same government media briefing.

In addition, hundreds of thousands of people in China have been given experimental trial-stage vaccines as part of an emergency inoculation programme launched in July.