Chinese mRNA COVID vaccine gets 1st ever approval, in Indonesia

Sep. 30, 2022 6:08 AM ETModerna, Inc. (MRNA), PFE, BNTXSFOSFBy: Ravikash, SA News Editor6 Comments

Hypodermic syringe needle inserted into a vaccine ampoule as mRNA concept

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A Chinese mRNA COVID vaccine received its first emergency use authorization in Indonesia for people aged 18 years and above, even before approval in its home country China, Reuters reported.

Indonesia's food and drug authority (BPOM) granted emergency use authorization to the mRNA COVID vaccine called AWcorna, developed by Walvax Biotechnology, Suzhou Abogen Biosciences and the Chinese military, Bloomberg reported.

The vaccine can be used as a primary or booster dose, the report added.

Penny Lukito, head of the agency, said the vaccine was 83.58% effective against wild-type coronavirus strains considered common and normal, but was only 71.17% effective against the Omicron variant. Details of the data were not provided, Reuters reported.

China has several potential mRNA vaccines in development stage but the Walvax vaccine is the only candidate in large late-stage trials, Reuters reported.

China is yet to approve any mRNA COVID-19 for use in the country and relies mostly on inactivated vaccines. The BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) vaccine's regulatory path is not clear despite filing from Chinese partner Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group (OTCPK:SFOSF), the Bloomberg report added.

U.S. mRNA vaccine makers, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), were the first to get approval for this type of vaccine in the U.S. and EU.

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