MANILA, Sept 10 (Mabuhay) — Some 1,500 Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) participated in Sinopharm’s clinical trial for its candidate vaccine against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Chinese Embassy in Manila confirmed Wednesday.

In a statement quoting Ambassador Huang Xilian, the Embassy said the 1,500 Filipinos are among the more than 30,000 volunteers who joined the Chinese company’s phase III clinical trial, which started on June 23, in the Gulf state.

The candidate vaccine is expected to enter similar last stage evaluations in Bahrain, Argentina, Peru, and Morocco, involving more than 50,000 volunteers from 115 countries.

According to the Embassy, over “hundreds of thousands of people” have been inoculated with Sinopharm’s vaccine since China launched the emergency use of Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) vaccines on July 22, “with no cases of severe adverse effects or infection”.

The Embassy added that relevant tests of Sinopharm’s vaccine against major SARS-CoV-2 strains, including those from Beijing Xinfadi as well as other regions of Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Austria showed “promising results” in both safety and efficacy.

The Chinese candidate vaccine is expected to be on the market by the end of December 2020, said the Embassy, adding that the company has built two high-level biosafety production facilities both in Beijing and Wuhan, with an annual production capacity of 300 million doses.

“With the expansion of production capacity, the annual output will reach 800 million to 1 billion doses in the future,” it said.  (MNS)

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