China's COVID-19 vaccine production in full swing to meet mass vaccination demand
By Fan Wei and Leng Shumei Published: Jan 05, 2021 10:10 PM
Chinese vaccine producers are swinging in full speed to produce vaccines as China has carried out nationwide vaccination, and overseas buyers are waiting for the vaccines to get rid of the severe epidemic.
The Global Times learned from the China National Biotec Group (CNBG), a subsidiary of Sinopharm, that a production warehouse of its Beijing Biological Products Institute is functioning round-the-clock, even during the New Year holiday.
The warehouse is able to produce 120 million doses per year and is planning to expand the number to one billion later this year, Global Times learned from CNBG.
An inactivated vaccine developed by the institute obtained China's first conditional market approval for COVID-19 vaccines on December 31 amid an expanding nationwide vaccination campaign as industry insiders revealed China has planned to vaccinate 50 million people by February 15.
"I am confident in the vaccine and believe that it can help prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic," Yang Xiaoming, CNBG chairman, said in a video the group sent to the Global Times.
Yang told media that one production line in the warehouse could package about 300 doses of vaccines and the automatic inspection machine can pick out unqualified products, which approximately account for five percent of the whole products.
Every dose of vaccine would be attached a code before being allowed in the market. Through the code, the vaccine can be traced from production to vaccination.
The Beijing quality supervision bureau is also providing a short cut of inspection to accelerate the process of vaccine production different from conducting casual checking after the producer finished production and inspection. They now collect samples for approval at the same time of the company's inspection. This helps save 14 days, media reported.
All three major Chinese vaccines producers - CNBG Beijing institute, CNBG Wuhan institute and Sinovac - are accelerating production while 15 others have completed production capacity construction, according to the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The Beijing institute is expanding production as media reported that a second production warehouse will probably be put into use in February.
Sinovac told the Global Times on Tuesday that they are operating at full speed to meet the demand of domestic mass vaccination while also delivering products to overseas buyers.
A batch of semi-finished vaccines will be shipped to Indonesia on January 12, according to Sinovac.
Indonesia signed a contract for 50 million doses of Sinovac's vaccines. Three million doses arrived in Indonesia in December and as many as 30 million semi-finished doses are expected to arrive in January, according to the Indonesian authority.
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