China and Russia's end-stage vaccines
As Britain becomes the first Western country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for general use, here is a look at what leading non-Western nations are doing in the race to get a vaccine approved.
China: Last-stage trials and emergency use
China has four coronavirus vaccines in phase 3 trials—typically the last step before regulatory approval—but has not released much of its data.
Although regulators have yet to approve China's vaccines for mass distribution, the country has approved some advanced candidates for emergency use, giving jabs to people ranging from state employees to international students since July.
Nearly a million people have already taken an experimental vaccine by Sinopharm, the company said in November. Another firm, Sinovac Biotech, earlier said almost all its employees and their families had voluntarily taken its vaccine.
China has also been ramping up its vaccine production capacity, with health officials expecting the country will be able to produce 610 million doses annually by the end of the year.
It is expected to raise this capacity to at least one billion doses annually next year.
In November, the state-run Global Times reported that China's coronavirus vaccine producers had been working out plans for international transportation. President Xi Jinping has pledged to make any potential vaccine developed by China available for the "global public good".
Russia: Registered vaccines and 40,000 volunteers
Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine was registered in August and is currently completing the third and final phase of clinical trials, with some 40,000 volunteers taking part.
The vaccine uses two different human adenovirus vectors and is administered in two doses with a 21-day gap. Developers said interim test results showed the vaccine to be 95 percent effective.
There is not a clear timeline for the vaccination process but authorities expect mass vaccination to start in 2021.
Developers plan to produce more than two million doses of the vaccine by the end of 2020.
Moscow is likely to be the first city to roll out vaccinations, and the mayor said around 300 vaccination points were already on standby waiting for the shots to come in.
The vaccine will be first made available to people in high-risk groups—including medics and teachers—and all vaccination will be on a voluntary basis and free for Russian citizens.
Russia has also started a mass vaccination campaign in the army, expecting to vaccinate 80,000 soldiers by the end of this year and more than 400,000 servicemen in the future.
© 2020 AFP