Home/ News / World/  China approves its first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine; here’s all you need to know

China has approved a new COVID-19 vaccine that uses mRNA technology for the first time ever. The vaccine was developed by the CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd in the northern city of Shijiazhuang and was approved by Chinese regulators on March 22. MRNA vaccines are already widely available in most parts of the world, but China has previously only promoted domestic vaccines developed through traditional methods.

“The Product is the first independently developed mRNA vaccine product in China that has been granted for emergency use," wrote CSPC in a statement. According to the company, the vaccine “adopts advanced technology with independent intellectual property rights, with the advantages of achieving higher production capacity, better process reproducibility, large-scale production and scale-up more easily…The Product is stable and can be stored at 2-8°C for a long time."

Also Read: China Has a New Vision for Itself: Global Power

The new MRNA vaccine comes at a critical time for China, as the country has recently rolled back strict Covid restrictions to stimulate its struggling economy. This decision caused a massive surge of positive cases resulting in an estimated 1.5 million deaths. China has recently opened its borders to foreign travellers for the first time since the pandemic began, which is a significant step in revitalising the tourism industry.

Traditional vaccines inject an inactivated version of the virus into the immune system to create viral resistance while MRNA vaccines inject a genetic molecule that directs cells to produce proteins designed to stimulate an immune response to the virus. MRNA technology makes it easier for scientists to adjust the vaccine to any new variants of the virus.

Also Read: Release all Covid-related data after new research: WHO tells China

Chinese citizens were previously only able to receive traditional vaccines, but now 90% of them have received a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Chinese government. The most common vaccines available in China before this decision were developed by the domestic firms Sinopharm and Sinovac.

In June 2022, India’s first home-grown mRNA Covid-19 vaccine, GEMCOVAC-19, got a ‘restricted emergency use’ approval for the 18-and-above age group. It was developed at Gennova Biopharmaceuticals in Pune.

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 23 Mar 2023, 09:49 AM IST
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