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INSTANT VIEW 2-China gives conditional approval to Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine

Dec 31 (Reuters) - China approved a COVID-19 vaccine developed by an affiliate of state-backed pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm on Thursday, making it the country’s first approved shot for general public use, as it braces for increased transmission risks over winter.

DONG-YAN JIN, PROFESSOR AT THE SCHOOL OF BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES, THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG

“We still have not seen key details, such as the number of trial participants and infections in Phase 3 trials for the vaccine. That said, China’s approval indicates that at least regulators have access to such key information.

“China’s approval could boost the credibility of the vaccine. But if the vaccine wants to take a share in the global market, especially in developed countries, more data is necessary. If the vaccine could win approval in the United States or European Union, where the regulatory bars are higher than in China and in UAE, more people would trust it.”

GARY NG, ECONOMIST, NATIXIS, HONG KONG

“While more vaccines with higher effective rate are positive for economic growth and sentiment, the market seems to be immune to related news. A small reaction is seen in the share price of Sinopharm but the spillover towards wider asset classes is absent with limited reaction in the yuan and Chinese equities.

“The general market focus seems to be on the fiscal stimulus in the U.S. rather than more announcements of vaccines, which is already priced in. For the market to react more strongly in 2021, large-scale rollout with positive outcome are needed to drive the momentum higher.”

NIKOLAI PETROVSKY, PROFESSOR IN THE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH AT FLINDERS UNIVERSITY, ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

“I don’t think the Chinese approval or the UK emergency use approval of their respective vaccines should be taken too seriously by third party countries, who will need to perform their own independent assessments.

“There is an ongoing paucity of data on the Chinese vaccines, so despite headline results suggesting 79% effectiveness it is hard to know what this means without access to all the data. There is a lot of politics right now in the COVID-19 vaccine market with each country that has a vaccine under pressure to get them approved and made available.

I would be very surprised to see any western country approving this Chinese vaccine without a lot more data.”

Reporting by Roxanne Liu in Beijing, Alun John in Hong Kong and Renju Jose in Sydney; Editing by Sam Holmes

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