China Deems Its Vaccine is Ready for Public Use

China deemed on Thursday its own vaccine is ready for public use, adding a shot against COVID-19 to the authorized vaccines currently underway around the world. The vaccine developed by state owned Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, which has shown a 79.3% efficacy rate, could also be used in developing nations who have been struggling to secure doses from wealthy countries.

The Sinopharm vaccine was tested on health care workers in China as part of a national program to inoculate 50 million citizens prior to the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year in February. The green light will allow the vaccine distribution to occur more widely across the country as well as bring Beijing one step closer to global distribution, which could be good news for vaccine coalition groups such as COVAX who have been struggling to reserve vaccinations for people in poorer countries around the world.

The Chinese vaccine authorization comes one day after the UK approved AstraZeneca’s inexpensive and simpler to handle vaccine, which only requires normal refrigeration, unlike the doses developed by Pfizer and Moderna which require constant freezing temperatures in order to maintain their integrity.